Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In the United Kingdon, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for eight years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
Click here for more details

United Kingdom > London > Dispute resolution > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Other

Overview

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Overview clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Notwithstanding the fear that the UK's exit from the European Union could reduce the attractiveness of London as a centre for dispute resolution, London and the UK courts remain popular choices for resolving complex commercial disputes.

The fallout from the financial crisis has continued to give rise to significant numbers of contractual disputes, while claims involving complex financial products such as derivatives, LIBOR, Forex manipulation and the credit default swaps (CDS) market have remained busy. As firms move to re-position themselves in this market, some are now offering in-house forensic accounting capabilities, with class-action litigation also becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Employment, IP and regulatory disputes are also buoyant areas for disputes teams, while in the oil and gas sector, volatility has led to an increasing number of gas price reviews as well as a rise in forfeiture claims, with parties frequently assessing how to extract themselves from contracts.

International arbitration in London as a global dispute resolution mechanism goes from strength to strength, with the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA) acting as one of the world’s leading international institutions for commercial dispute resolution; typically, over 80% of parties in pending LCIA cases are from outside England.

Both corporates and overseas nations are increasingly alert to London’s appeal; with some emerging market countries amending their domestic arbitration laws to take a more pro-arbitration position. Meanwhile some law firms report increasing numbers of clients choosing to use arbitration agreements during corporate deals. Also of interest, the London dispute resolution market has experienced a rise in the number of bilateral investment treaty arbitrations taking place.

With a number of new funders entering the market, clients are increasingly recognising the benefits of having a third-party investor fund their claims; funding can afford clients more choice as well as the chance to test the strength of claims before a neutral third party before going to court.

Some law firms are even entering into direct agreements with finance firms; in 2017 Shepherd and Wedderburn became the first top-100 UK firm to secure a portfolio financing arrangement with a third-party financier when it signed up to a dedicated dispute funding portfolio arrangement with Burford Capital.

Headline mergers among law firms with ranked dispute resolution practices to have gone live in 2018 include the launch of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP through the transatlantic merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Bryan Cave; while in late 2017, Dentons  merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens under the Dentons banner. A tie-up that saw the London office gain litigation partners Craig Neilson and Simon Colledge.

Other unions included Charles Russell Speechlys LLP joining up with sports law boutique Couchmans in 2018; Druces LLP's merger with London-based Ronaldsons, adding commercial litigator Neil Hayter to the group; and Laytons merging with Silverman Sherliker, the combined firm known as Laytons LLP.

High-profile market moves among leading litigators include Latham & Watkins’ hiring of Jon Holland and Andrea Monks from Hogan Lovells International LLP, who have advised retail and investment banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions on significant disputes and contentious regulatory matters. Their former firm meanwhile recruited Claire Lipworth from the Financial Conduct Authority, where she was chief criminal counsel.

Elsewhere, White & Case LLP recruited Hannah Field-Lowes , formerly co-head of disputes at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP; Norton Rose Fulbright’s former global head of investigations Chris Warren-Smith and fellow partner Melanie Ryan joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP; Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP former partner Paul Friedman exited for gunnercooke LLP; and Mishcon de Reya LLP hired Ben Giaretta, the former Asia arbitration practice head in Ashurst LLP's Singapore office.

Notable silk appointments in 2018 among the dispute resolution community included Latham & Watkins’ litigation and trial practice partners Philip Clifford QC and global co-chair of the international arbitration practice Sophie Lamb QC, along with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP’s Reza Mohtashami QC and Stephenson Harwood’s international arbitration group head  Louis Flannery QC.


Banking litigation: investment and retail

Index of tables

  1. Banking litigation: investment and retail
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Banking litigation: investment and retail clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Regularly instructed by leading global financial institutions on their most important and complex matters, Allen & Overy LLP¬†is 'among the very best banking litigation practices'. The team advises on the full range of issues affecting clients in the financial sector, ranging from major regulatory investigations to high-profile disputes. Calum Burnett¬† and Mona Vaswani¬†¬†co-heads the banking, finance and regulatory litigation practice. In one of the most significant actions brought by parties seeking to avoid obligations, in relation to contracts referencing interest rate benchmarks, by raising allegations of implied misrepresentation and IBOR manipulation, Andrew Denny¬†led advice to HSH Nordbank, Bayerische Landesbank, ING Bank and Caixa D‚ÄôEstalvis, (the second to fifth defendants) on a ‚ā¨800m dispute arising out of the ¬£1.5bn purchase of Santander‚Äôs global headquarters in 2008. Denny¬†'has a¬†fine track record for high-quality, complex investment banking disputes, is always on top of the issues in a case and gives his all for his clients'. In other highlights,¬†Arnondo Chakrabarti¬†defended Credit Suisse, successfully defending a mis-selling claim by an investment fund relating to structured notes, which raised important questions of broad application for capital markets lawyers on the duties owed to a party who has an economic interest in certain types of bond instrument and the impact of foreign law on those obligations. Marc Florent¬†specialises in all contentious aspects of structured finance (particularly derivatives disputes) and insolvency;¬†Mahmood Lone¬†and¬†James Partridge¬†are also highly rated,¬†as is counsel Oliver Rule;¬†John O‚ÄôConor retired from the practice.

Able to handle a large volume of high-end litigation, Clifford Chance LLP¬†is 'a¬†first-rate banking litigation firm handling complex banking litigation on behalf of a wide range of financial institutions'. It¬†acts in some of the most high-profile banking disputes and investigations both within the UK and globally. The team‚Äôs workload spans a range of complex financial products, derivative transactions and aircraft financing as well as industry-wide issues such as Libor rate setting, Forex manipulation, the credit default swaps (CDS) market, and the Panama Papers; the firm also has in-house forensic accounting capability. Kelwin Nicholls¬†who is 'a¬†very talented, unflappable lawyer who provides superb advice on highly complex matters', Ian Moulding¬†and Helen Carty¬†co-lead the firm‚Äôs London-based banking litigation team; in a high-value case involving the duties and role of an arranger in an Islamic financing transaction, Nicholls and Michael Lyons¬†defended BNP Paribas against two parallel proceedings filed in the Commercial Court, surrounding a landmark $650m Islamic finance bond involving the Saudi conglomerate, Saad Trading, Contracting and Financial Services Company; and Carty defended Deutsche Bank (DB) against a claim for over ‚ā¨800m brought by Vestia, one of the largest Dutch housing associations, in relation to derivatives transactions it entered into with DB. Former global head of litigation Jeremy Sandelson, who is 'a superb client-handler, a highly sophisticated tactician and a delightful team leader'¬†stepped down from the role and was replaced by Matthew Newick; and¬†Christopher Yates¬†has a particular speciality in finance disputes with a cross-border element involving investments in developing economies. Other key advisers include¬† Julian Acratopulo, who is 'clever, sophisticated, charming and utterly committed to the client',¬†Simon Davis, Roger Best¬†and Jeremy Kosky¬†, together with¬†Matthew Scully¬† and¬†Roger Leese. The key senior associates are Lindsay Bickerton¬† and Kate Scott.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP  ’s practice is highly rated for the global defence of its financial institution clients, including high-profile investigations. Examples of highly significant work include leading the representation of the senior creditor group in the Lehman Brothers International (Europe) administration waterfall proceedings, which involved a series of complex and novel issues of banking and insolvency law relating to the effect of International Swaps and Derivatives Association and other transactional documents to determine the allocation of the £7bn surplus in the administration. Simon Orton, who leads the financial institutions disputes group, recently advised significant global financial institutions on multi-jurisdictional investigations concerning activities in various trading businesses; and David Scott, who heads the firm’s global dispute resolution practice, specialises in banking and financial services litigation and regulatory proceedings, and acts on a wide range of banking and commercial disputes for banks, asset managers, insurance companies and other financial institutions. Other recommended practitioners include Andrew Hart, whose recent experience includes advising Deutsche Bank on its successful defence of an $8bn claim by Sebastian Holdings arising out of its foreign exchange and prime brokerage operations; Christopher Robinson, who frequently works on cross-border investigations with a financial services or financial crime focus; and Ian Taylor, who recently acted for clients in multi-jurisdictional disputes that arose out of the credit crunch and sub-prime crisis, particularly claims involving derivatives and structured products. Sarah Parkes and Piers Reynolds are also key advisers.

'A top-tier banking litigation practice with a strong mix of investment and retail bank disputes', Herbert Smith Freehills LLP continues to advise many of the largest national and international banking groups and other major financial institutions on their high stakes, complex litigation cases. Recent work included high-profile shareholder actions and multiple parallel claims arising out of contentious issues such as the Panama Papers, mis-selling, film finance, interest rate swaps and tailored business loans. The 'very impressive' Damien Byrne Hill , who  assumed the role as head of disputes for UK and US in 2018, is 'among the very best banking litigators; he is direct, focused, and robust in his approach'. Simon Clarke  handles highly complex banking and financial services litigation, often involving structured products and derivatives. The 'immensely hard working and fun-to-work-with' Harry Edwards, who is 'a strong litigator with a deservedly rising profile', led advice to Watchstone (formerly known as Quindell) on a threatened group litigation brought by shareholders of Watchstone, arising out of various public announcements made by the company in 2013; the claim, if pursued, would be one of the first claims brought on the basis of section 90A of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, which provides a cause of action for investors who buy, sell or hold listed securities in reliance on deliberately misleading information published to the market. Other key advisers are the 'first-rate, bright and insightful' Rupert Lewis, who 'has shown that he can handle even the most challenging cases superbly'; and John Corrie, who is 'a very able litigator who combines high intellectual ability with great charm'. Chris Bushell, Adam Johnson QC, Gary Milner-Moore and John Whiteoak are also highly rated; Donny Surtani was made partner; and Julian Copeman returned from secondment to the firm’s Hong Kong office. The key senior associates are Ajay Malhotra, Tom Henderson and Emma Deas. James Norris-Jones  joined  Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

'A solid choice for any kind of banking litigation', Hogan Lovells International LLP 'has an excellent track record with impressive litigators'. The practice regularly acts for the biggest, most active global banks and financial institutions in cases involving benchmark manipulation, distressed assets, mis-selling, consumer finance, aviation finance, and complex structured products; and the team was recently particularly active in the Financial List, the specialist list set up by the Commercial Court to address the unique needs of parties litigating the most important financial matters. 'A strong all-rounder who gives sensible, commercial advice', Louise Lamb has handled disputes and investigations across the retail banking, wealth management, trade finance and investment banking sectors; Lamb is 'a first-rate lawyer with excellent client-handling skills and who is difficult to fault'. Philip Parish, who is 'a measured, thoughtful and calm practitioner who adopts a collegiate approach to his work', has particular experience in disputes involving derivatives and complex financial products, including mis-selling and mismanagement claims. In a case that provided clarity on the extent of a bank’s duties to customers and the information that banks are required to disclose in connection with interest rate hedging transactions, Parish successfully led advice to Bank of Scotland on allegations of breach of contract, misrepresentation and the suitability of a swap. Whiston Bristow’s practice focuses on mis-selling and misrepresentation claims, large portfolio claims against banks, and aviation and trade finance disputes; Bristow is 'a very thorough litigator with an eye on the bigger picture'. Other highly rated practitioners include John Tillman, who has particular expertise in litigating distressed and default situations; and Claire Lipworth , who in 2017 joined from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), where she was chief criminal counsel. Jon Holland and Andrea Monks left for Latham & Watkins in 2018.

The 'excellent and commercially astute' Linklaters LLP is widely known for handling high-profile and significant matters with financial and reputational impacts for its clients; and the firm fields lawyers with banking litigation expertise relating to insolvencies, derivatives and structured financial products, and misrepresentation along with fraud issues, mis-selling claims and contractual disputes, lender enforcement actions, and consumer credit issues. Cross-border highlights include successfully defending the Bank of New York Mellon (BNYM) in expedited London High Court proceedings brought by the Republic of Kazakhstan (ROK) and the National Bank of Kazakhstan; RoK sought a declaration that BNYM should not have frozen over $22bn of its assets held by BNYM under the terms of an English law-governed global custody agreement. Christa Band is banking litigation practice head, Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head and the global dispute resolution head is Michael Bennett. Patrick Robinson  has a broad banking and financial markets disputes practice, particularly regarding derivatives and structured products disputes; Andrew Hughes has extensive experience of banking disputes and fraud and regulatory investigations; and Alison Wilson has a particular focus on contentious regulatory work. Other highly rated individuals are Nick Porter , Euan Clarke, Harriet Ellis and Kathryn Ludlow , together with Susan Roscoe , Nick Porter, Rory Conway, Ros Gallagher, and Susana Cao Miranda. Jonathan Swil is a notable managing associate. James Gardner retired from the firm.

Slaughter and May has particular expertise in high-value, technically-demanding, multi-jurisdictional disputes. The practice’s scope involves complex, structured products and sophisticated, financial derivative instruments, and it stands out for global regulatory investigations. The team acts for a broad spectrum of clients in the financial sector, including investment banks, major building societies, accountants, hedge funds, actuaries and private equity firms. Highlights included advising Banco Santander Totta (BST) on successful litigation, which arose out of interest rate swaps between BST and the defendants, which are publicly-owned Portuguese companies; this matter was the first case to be tried in the Financial List, the new dedicated financial court. It also acted for Mercuria Energy Europe Trading in dishonest assistance and fraudulent trading claims brought against it and its co-defendant, RBS that arose out of trading in the carbon emissions market. Sarah Lee is team head and Jonathan Clark's international banking practice includes advising on litigation involving derivatives transactions, benchmark manipulation and regulatory investigations, often ranging across multiple jurisdictions. Other key advisers are Deborah Finkler, Ewan Brown, Richard Swallow, Richard Jeens and Damian Taylor.

Addleshaw Goddard¬†has a full-service banking litigation practice, which includes highly developed financial regulatory and financial crime expertise; and the team is regularly engaged in matters involving international or cross-border elements. The team successfully defended (up to Supreme Court level) Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig, the water authority for Germany‚Äôs City of Leipzig, against an approximately ‚ā¨350m claim brought by UBS that involved the sale of derivatives and bribery and fraud issues. Department head Michael Barnett, who is 'hugely experienced in banking litigation and invariably gets the right approach in tricky disputes',¬†is recommended for investment banking, derivatives and structured finance cases; and¬†Mark Gill¬†handles major banking and financial disputes, including cases featuring financial products such as derivatives and swaps. Gill is 'a master litigator with exceptional powers of analysing and simplifying complex problems, allied with great tactical skills'. Other key contacts are¬†Chris Brennan¬†, who¬†specialises in financial services regulatory matters, enforcement and disputes; the¬†'highly skilled strategist'¬†Richard Clayton,'a brilliant problem solver with finely-honed litigation skills¬†who achieves very successful outcomes'¬†and whose ¬†recent experience includes cases involving derivatives, other structured credits, trade finance, securitisation, bonds, mandate and prospectus issues; and James Herring, whose¬†expertise includes mis-selling claims, claims relating to lending and security issues, derivatives and structured products. Further names to note are corporate crime and investigations practice head¬†Nichola Peters¬†and Michelle de Kluyver, the latter joining from Allen & Overy LLP, bringing extensive expertise in cross-border investigations.

'One of the best around', Ashurst's 'excellent team' acts in some of the largest UK finance cases, while the practice is increasingly involved in matters with an international element. The range of disputes on which the firm recently advised includes contractual interpretations, defence of senior individuals, enforcement and dispute of validity of major arbitral awards, and enforcement of security following borrower defaults. Other areas of note are film investment schemes, fraud, deceit and conspiracy claims, freezing orders, global master repurchase agreement close-out disputes, and issues arising from the restructuring and insolvency of counterparties and borrowers. The practice successfully acted for Cerberus Capital Management, as Third Defendant, in a claim for conspiracy by unlawful means to engineer a sale of at an undervalue by way of an administration; and in a significant bet-the-firm matter, it defended Daiwa Capital Markets Europe against Singularis Holdings’ $200m-plus claim for breach of duty and dishonest assistance. Team head Lynn Dunne is 'a highly effective, streetwise litigator who is recommended without hesitation'; David Capps specialises in finance-related disputes, financial regulatory enforcement matters and internal investigations; James Levy 'has excellent judgment, is very commercial and is a pleasure to work with'; and Tom Connor specialises in financial services litigation. Edward Sparrow and Jon Gale are also key names.

Latham & Watkins recently hired Jon Holland, 'a highly experienced litigator who has overseen highly complex regulatory investigations' and Andrea Monks, who 'brings great focus and energy to her cases and is always on top of the issues'; the both joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP and have advised retail and investment banks, asset managers, and other financial institutions on high-profile disputes and contentious regulatory matters. Recent matters include defending Barclay Bank, as security agent, on a dispute involving the £525m bond financing of the Four Seasons Healthcare Group (FS), which arises from an alleged common mistake that FS alleges gives rise to a right to rectify the terms of security given by it; the matter is of particular relevance to the legal and business community as it should clarify the laws on rectification of contracts. The practice also acted for an international investment firm (and other entities) in their defence to a clawback claim of over $1bn brought under the 1986 Insolvency Act; the claim related to a financing transaction for Hellas II, one of Greece’s largest telecoms companies, which later went into insolvency. Oliver Browne and Martin Davies head the team; Davies is 'a calm and strong lead partner for high-value, complex claims, and he gives excellent client service and is able to marshal his team, counsel and outside parties with real skill'. Stuart Alford QC focuses on economic crime and regulatory matters; and Philip Clifford QC recently took silk. Jumana Rahman and Dan Smith are key counsels.

Mayer Brown International LLP’s Ian McDonald >acts for banks and funds, particularly in high-value disputes relating to loan structures, structured finance and derivatives, many of which have cross-jurisdictional elements. McDonald 'has great legal judgement and commercial acumen, and is a real team player who at the same time knows how to lead a team'. Other highly regarded advisers include David Allen, who has particular experience in banking and insolvency litigation, including several high-profile insolvency proceedings; Alistair Graham, noted for regulatory and fraud investigations, white-collar work and international asset tracing; and Susan Rosser, who acts in disputes involving complex financial products, regulatory investigations and enforcement as well as professional discipline, corporate investigations (including fraud and corruption), and professional negligence claims. The practice represented UBS in long-running litigation in London against Kommunale Wasserwerke Leipzig, which provides fresh and wastewater services to the City of Leipzig and surrounding area; the litigation, which went to the Supreme Court, involved claims for approximately $320m arising from the enforcement of various structured finance transactions.

Norton Rose Fulbright 'has great depth of experience and knowledge in this practice area'. The team regularly acts in some of the most significant high-value banking and finance disputes; the team advises banks on disputes involving the whole range of banking products, including derivatives, bonds and structured finance, commodities and trade finance, and Islamic finance. The practice includes lawyers who are experienced in acting for banks in corporate crime investigations, fraud, asset-tracing and enforcement, enforcement of ship and aircraft mortgages, and insolvency disputes. It acted for The Law Debenture Trust Corporation, a corporate trustee, in a high-profile $3bn-plus Commercial Court claim (that went to the Court of Appeal in 2018) against Ukraine, brought on behalf of note holders to enforce payment of notes issued by Ukraine in 2013. Michael Godden heads the department; Paul Morris is 'a safe pair of hands and a sensible and pragmatic litigator'; and Matthew Waudby is 'the most extraordinary person, whose strategic and analytical thinking is impressive and he manages the most stressful situations in a calm and undisturbed manner'. Other key contacts include Lista Cannon, Radford Goodman, David Harris and John Verrill, the latter joining after the firm’s merger with Chadbourne & Parke LLP. Harriet Jones-Fenleigh  and Dominic Hennessy  are key of counsels. Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP .

Acting for banks, insurers, reinsurers, hedge funds, and other market participants, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has deep experience in banking disputes, including lender-liability actions, suits by loan participants, actions arising out of letters of credit and other forms of commercial paper, commercial and residential foreclosure actions, and loan fraud matters. The practice is also expert in matters relating to complex financial products such as CDOs, credit default swaps and all types of derivatives. It acted for private equity firm PCP Capital (PCP) in a £1.5bn claim against Barclays; the claim arose out of fraudulent misrepresentations that PCP alleges were made to it by Barclays during the negotiation of its participation in Barclays’ 2008 capital raisings. The London co-managing partners are Richard East and Sue Prevezer QC; other names to note are Robert Hickmott, Matthew Bunting, Nick Marsh and Khaled Khatoun, along with Alex Gerbi and Ted Greeno. Paul Friedman joined gunnercooke LLP , while David Berman left for Latham & Watkins.

'One of the best firms for a client up against a big financial institution', RPC's conflict-free practice is able to act against investment banks for parties such as European regional banks, pension funds, hedge funds, other asset managers, and the investment vehicles of high-net-worth individuals. Representative work for the 'sound, concise, precise and effective team' includes disputes involving corporate bonds, hybrid products and complex structured investment products as well as disputes involving loan facilities and fraud; and the practice has experienced increasing amounts of insolvency and restructuring work. It acted for Cypriot company MountainPeak Trading, a wholly- owned subsidiary of German company Adler Real Estate, in its claim against Citibank in the English High Court for damages arising from an alleged overpayment under a facility agreement; the case raises interesting issues regarding the law of duress in a commercial setting. Department head Tom Hibbert 'must be about the best litigator around when going against a bank'; Simon Hart 'really knows his subject'; and Andy McGregor is 'a high- class performer'. Davina Given and Parham Kouchikali are also highly regarded. Jonathan Cary returned to London from the Hong Kong office and Chris Ross was made partner. Alan Williams is a key senior associate.

Simmons & Simmons’ international financial markets litigation group is 'simply outstanding, responsive, thorough, detailed and creative'. It focuses on contentious work for financial institutions, asset managers and hedge funds; and the practice combines expertise in financial markets litigation, investigations and contentious regulatory matters, and financial crime. Tim Boyce, who heads the financial markets litigation practice, acts for financial institutions in regulatory investigations, disputes and fraud claims; and Robert Turner’s experience includes acting for Icelandic bank Kaupthing in Commercial Court proceedings, relating to a multi-currency debt of over £300m and high-value assets provided as security for the debt; the proceedings in London raised complex factual and legal issues relating to fraud, market abuse, insider dealing and the enforceability of contracts for an illegal purpose, among others; Turner is 'simply excellent; clients appreciate his calm demeanour and his incisive and clinical approach'. Other highly regarded practitioners include Richard Bunce, whose practice is based exclusively on financial markets disputes and has a strong international focus and Caroline Hunter-Yeats, who has a particular focus on wealth management firms and complex products sold to high-net-worth investors as well as senior partner Colin Passmore, Ed Crosse, Robert Allen, Paul Baker and Alexander Thavenot.

'A top firm for claimants and highly recommended for banking litigation', the 'smart and user-friendly' conflict-free firm¬†Stewarts Law LLP¬†is the largest litigation-only law firm in the UK and acts for some of the world‚Äôs biggest financial institutions, companies, multinational corporations and high-net-worth individuals; the team has also expanded into new areas of disputes work, such as securities litigation. The practice acts in complex, large-scale and high-value banking disputes and has significant experience of litigation funding; and the civil fraud group's work often involves complex financial instruments and structures. In a high-value, complex matter involving multiple jurisdictions, it acted for the liquidators of Kaupthing in connection with a ‚ā¨500m claim against Deutsche Bank, which arose from the sale of complex banking derivatives; and in¬†a dispute that raised fundamental questions about the duties of banks that issue Islamic corporate bonds, the team acted for both hedge funds that bought a bond and the company that issued the bond. ¬†Clive Zietman¬†is department head,¬† Marc Jones¬†'runs litigation very well', and Fiona Gillett¬†is 'a¬†very able lawyer, who has a great touch with clients'. Other key advisers are¬†¬†Sean Upson,¬†Keith Thomas,¬†Paul Brehony,¬†Ian Gatt QC¬†and¬†David Hughes¬†. Lucy Ward¬†and Laura Jenkins¬†were promoted to the partnership.¬†Elaina Bailes¬†is a key senior associate.

'A rising force in the banking disputes market', Travers Smith LLP 'has a fantastic team and is very well-placed to service the top cases'. It has extensive experience of handling complex banking disputes, including technical disputes relating to share transfers, money transfers, breaches of mandate, the operation of the CHAPS system, cheques and other instruments; matters involving allegations of fraudulent activity; and instructions arising out of the global financial crisis that involved trades in derivatives and CDOs. The team advised the Bank of England (BoE) on the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation into crisis-era liquidity auctions; the investigation looked into whether the BoE favoured certain financial institutions in bids for funding facilities, potentially to the detriment of other firms. Rob Fell is the recently appointed dispute resolution head, taking over from 'standout individual' Stephen Paget-Brown, who moved to an outward facing senior litigator role focusing on business development; Fell is 'a leader in this area and a superb choice as the firm's head of this department'. Other widely respected litigators are Andrew King, Caroline Edwards, Jan-Jaap Baer, Huw Jenkin, and Toby Robinson; Sam Cottman is a key senior counsel.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s 'provides an impeccable level of service through its deeply experienced and strong team'. It is known for cross-border creditor litigation; and the firm has significant expertise in acting for hedge funds and other investment firms on international investor disputes, with a particular focus on disputes in the distressed debt space, debt disputes and shareholder activism. The team also assists with restructuring-related litigation. Highlights included advising an investment fund, Cornwall Luxembourg, in High Court litigation against International Game Technology on the disputed liability of the defendant to pay dividends; the matter raises an important question of Italian corporate law, albeit to be resolved in this case by the English court. Financial services litigation head Mark Dawkins acts in complex, high-value disputes and investigations, often of a multi-jurisdictional nature; Richard Hornshaw is 'deeply skilled, pays exceptional attention to detail and is an incredibly knowledgeable and experienced litigator'; and Kambiz Larizadeh has a particular focus on civil fraud.

Able to act on large and complex cases, Baker McKenzie’s team heads are Hugh Lyons and Jonathan Peddie. Much of Lyons’ work arises from disputed financing transactions, restructuring and insolvency, fraud and financial misconduct; and Peddie advises clients, primarily in the banking and financial services sector, in relation to corporate investigations, regulatory enforcement, financial crime, and civil and criminal litigation. In a case that showcases the practice’s strength in dealing with cross-border disputes, it acted for Dubai Islamic Bank in proceedings to recover approximately $500m stolen from it in a complex receivables financing fraud. Edward Poulton is noted for his advice to clients on managing risk and resolving disputes relating to financial services; and Charles Thomson was recently seconded to a retail bank to head up the EME fraud team, where he advised on money laundering and anti-corruption related matters, as well as matters that resulted in litigation before the High Court.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP was formed in 2018 from the merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Bryan Cave. The practice 'provides an efficient, value-for-money service; it has a close-knit team of litigators and works very well together and with counsel'. Oliver Glynn-Jones heads the firm’s banking litigation team and specialises in all aspects of financial litigation; Glynn-Jones is 'an outstanding all-round litigator with an acute sense of long-term strategy in complex, high-value litigation and he is superb with clients, barristers and opposing solicitors alike'. Segun Osuntokun’s cases arise out of or involve the banking and financial services industry and he heads the firm’s Africa Group. The team acted for Citicorp Trustee Company, as delegate of the issuer and trustee of a $650m Sukuk, in a claim against BNP Paribas for misrepresentation, negligence and breach of contract in its role as arranger, sole bookrunner and lead manager of the Sukuk. It also advised Access Bank, one of the largest banks in Nigeria, on its successful claim against its former CEO and managing director, which claim included allegations of misappropriation of the bank’s funds and the operation of an illegal share purchase scheme. Oran Gelb is also highly rated and Sarah McAtominey and Clare Reeve are notable senior associates.

A significant strength of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s practice is its ability to handle complex cross-border disputes; and matters involving financial and banking regulatory investigations and enforcement continue to feature heavily in the firm’s London practice. The team acted for HSBC in a substantial, high-profile global investigation by multiple global law enforcement authorities concerning allegations of bribery and corruption by Unaoil (and related companies and individuals) in various jurisdictions in Europe and the Middle East; it also acted for a major international bank in threatened litigation against the bank, as well as an investigation into various misconduct allegations made by whistleblowers in England and Italy. Jonathan Kelly has significant experience in banking and financial services disputes, and regulatory investigations, and Sunil Gadhia’s practice encompasses substantial English and international disputes, investigatory, and enforcement work. James Norris-Jones  joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP. James Brady is a key senior associate.

CMS’ key London contacts include Tom Dane, whose experience includes acting for banks on disputes arising from commercial and retail banking operations, such as remediation programmes, breach of mandate claims, and defending claims involving allegations of mis-selling and fraud. The practice has extensive experience conducting large-scale investigations and reviews into financial crisis-related conduct and practice; the firm also fields experts in mis-selling litigation, complex financial disputes and enforcement actions. Philip Woodfield heads the banking litigation team in Bristol; other recommended contacts are Guy Pendell, Alison McHaffie, Maxine Cupitt, Omar Qureshi, and Gemma Lampert  in Edinburgh. Vanessa Whitman  is a highly regarded senior associate. Growth in the team saw Elisabeth Bremner,who acts in a broad range of disputes involving financial institutions (many of which include a strong international element), join from Norton Rose Fulbright, while former finance disputes leaderDuncan Aldred retired from the partnership

Free of conflicts of interest and 'delivering service, knowledge and skills that are impeccable and of the highest quality', Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP 'has carved a solid reputation on the claimant side'. The practice regularly acts against financial institutions, and the practice is well known for acting in major claims in the financial sector. Recent work includes obtaining a suite of orders to assist tracing stolen sums for CMOC Sales & Marketing, part of the China Molybdenum mining conglomerate and the victim of a fraud whereby monies were stolen from its bank accounts following a sophisticated payments fraud; it also assisted the third defendant in Commercial Court litigation proceedings issued by a UK fund manager for a Libyan capital investment fund, FM Capital Partners, which alleged breach of fiduciary duties, related proprietary claims and unlawful means conspiracy in the structuring of complex structured products and investments. The 'diligent and knowledgeable' Philip Young focuses on substantial fraud-related cases, including those requiring urgent injunctive steps, and Marc Keidan, who is 'tenacious and aggressive', is best known for his claimant-side work. Other key names are the 'calm and knowledgeable' Sinead O'Callaghan and Stephen Elam; Lydia Danon  and Daniel Burbeary were made partners.

In late 2017, Dentons merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, which brought in Craig Neilson. The financial disputes and investigations group represents major financial institutions in complex, high-profile disputes; and is 'widely respected as a top litigation practice in the retail banking sphere and is highly visible in leading cases'. The practice’s scope covers wholesale banking disputes such as swaps mis-selling cases, letters of credit, fraud, and professional negligence; investment banking disputes including structured products and credit default swaps; and corporate agency and trustee disputes. It defended RBS against a headline £670m claim, arising out of the aborted issuance of commercial mortgage backed securities and brought by the sole shareholder of the Opal Group Companies, which was one of the UK's leading student accommodation providers before entering liquidation. The 'highly regarded' team head Daren Allen is focused on white-collar crime and investigations and is 'very experienced in retail banking litigation and tough when he needs to be'; Richard Caird is particularly noted for high-profile derivatives cases; Felicity Ewing, who is 'a very capable and careful lawyer who handles complex matters', specialises in financial services disputes and contentious regulatory matters; and Thomas Leyland is 'a highly accomplished practitioner who is commercially focused, thoughtful, calm and a delight to deal with'. Celyn Armstrong is also highly rated and Natalia Fludra is a notable senior associate.

DLA Piper's 'lawyers are very good indeed, do not hesitate to add real value in terms of legal analysis and strategy, and are always straightforward to deal with'. Others praise 'the excellent supervision over the up-and-coming associates, giving strength in depth'.¬†The practice is highly rated for handling complex and high-stakes domestic and cross-border mandates in the financial services sector. Domestically, the practice recently secured key victories for its clients in strategically significant and bet-the-bank matters before the English courts; and in international matters, it was particularly active in bank fraud matters, where assets have been misappropriated and moved between financial institutions in multiple foreign jurisdictions. In one of the largest and most publicly-sensitive cases to emerge from the 2011 Cypriot banking crisis, the team acted for Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co (in Special Administration) in its actions to recover losses of up to ‚ā¨3.5bn, arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry¬†was promoted to international head litigation and regulatory group head in 2017; the UK co-head of litigation and arbitration is¬†Jeremy Andrews;¬†Jamie Curle¬†'has strong legal knowledge, an astute tactical sense and good team management, and is invariably polite, calm and a pleasure to work with'; and ¬†Paul Smith¬†is 'immensely experienced and knowledgeable in interest-rate swap mis-selling cases and so able to give genuinely valuable insights to counsel'.¬†Tony Katz¬†and¬†James Carter¬† are also widely respected.

Acting for states, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and high-net worth individuals, Enyo Law LLP is a conflict-free, go-to law firm for banking litigation that 'provides an excellent level of service, including immediate responses, and is good value for money'. Historically instructed by claimants suing banks, the practice increasingly advises on inter-bank disputes, where one of the banks has a conflict of interest. The practice was instructed by BDO, as receiver and manager on behalf of The Libyan Investment Authority, in a claim against French bank Société Générale (SG) and others that SG funnelled corrupt payments of approximately $58m through a Libyan intermediary with connections to the Gaddafi regime. Simon Twigden’s dispute resolution experience includes fraud and the mis-selling of complex derivative products and ISDA issues; the 'innovative' Edward Allen , who is 'absolutely excellent', has particular experience in proceedings involving complex financial disputes and civil fraud, frequently acting against banks; and Pietro Marino , who is 'a star of the firm', specialises in cross-border fraud and related wrongdoing. Jonathan Brook is also highly rated, along with recently promoted Nick Jones, who is 'very knowledgeable, responsive and collaborative', Tim Elliss, and of counsel Rachel Bennet. Michael Green joined RGL Management.

Regularly acting in complex finance disputes, Reed Smith LLP is 'a very impressive firm with some real stars'. Its client base includes both issuers and trustees, including disputes turning upon commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS), collateralised loan obligations and credit default swap transactions. Nick Brocklesby, who has considerable experience of complex banking litigation and 'has great experience in banking and structured finance', and Richard Spafford head the team. The practice acted for a large bank, as agent bank for a syndicate of various banks, in an ongoing dispute before the Commercial Court with three companies, pursuant to a high-value facility agreement. Other recommended advisers include Charles Hewetson, who advises financial institutions on disputes with other financial institutions and customers, and complaints and proceedings brought by various financial regulators; Ben Summerfield, who has acted for issuers in disputes and court proceedings involving CMBS transactions; Tom Webley, whose experience includes regularly advising banks, and senior officers within banks, on disputes and regulatory enforcement proceedings; and Gautam Bhattacharyya , the former managing partner of the firm’s Singapore office. George Hoare was promoted to counsel and Felicity Dart is a key senior associate.

Signature Litigation LLP 'does a good job of predicting the potential moves of opponents and taking countermeasures in advance'. The practice advises on all aspects of large-scale banking litigation. Highlights included acting for one of the three lead groups of RBS shareholders, which brought unprecedented claims under the Financial Services and Markets Act’s section 90, against RBS with respect to its failed 2008 rights issue; the work involved the first major test of the section 90 liability, supported by a huge evidential a>nd forensic review of RBS’ businesses, particularly in relation to liquidity, capital and credit market exposure. The team also acted for Desiman, a property company, against Bank of Scotland, HBOS Treasury Services and Lloyds Bank for mis-selling LIBOR- referenced interest rate swaps; breach of implied representations; and wrongful appointment of administrative receivers.Graham Huntley is the founding partner and Abdulali Jiwaji 'has an ability to analyse difficult issues and provide concise and clear advice'. Other highly rated litigators are Simon Bushell, Julian Connerty, Daniel Spendlove and Natalia Chumak, along with Adam Rooney, Hermes Marangos, Ioannis Alexopoulos and Josh Wong, while Rory Spillman is a notable senior associate.

Finance litigation is a core practice area for Stephenson Harwood, which frequently advises on matters involving litigation in multiple jurisdictions and 'combines excellent sector knowledge with a genuine litigation focus'. The 'excellent team provides very prompt responses and is very strong at analysing cases' strengths and weaknesses'. Key work included acting for Natixis in a claim against Marex Financial (an independent commodities broker and trader) and Access World Logistics (Singapore) (a Glencore-owned provider of London Metal Exchange warehousing), which involved five spot-purchase contracts (and related repo transactions) for the sale of nickel; the case is expected to produce significant implications in the context of commodity financing, particularly the use of warehouse receipts in repo and other transactions of this nature. In other matters, the group advised Commerzbank on its claims against Liquimar Tankers Management and Pauline Shippingo, which arose out of loan and guarantee documentation that contained asymmetric jurisdiction agreements. The finance co-litigation heads are Sue Millar and Edward Davis. Other recommended names are commercial litigation department head John Fordham, 'who has excellent knowledge of cases', Richard Garcia, Donna Newman and Richard Gwynne.

White & Case LLP’s finance litigation team handles a broad range of contentious areas, including court proceedings (in the UK and elsewhere), regulatory investigations, internal investigations, pre-action dispute advice, and questions on contentious or potentially contentious matters. The practice acted for Deutsche Bank in its response to investigations by multiple regulators, which arose from suspicious trading on its Moscow equities desk; the issues in the case included anti-money laundering controls, Know Your Client checks, sanctions, banking secrecy and data privacy. John Reynolds is London head of commercial litigation and co-head of the global financial institutions practice; and Charles Balmain is the EMEA regional section head for commercial litigation and white collar. Other names to note are London white-collar crime team head Jonathan Pickworth, Amanda Cowell, Rory Hishon and Joanna Dimmock. Key growth included hiring Hannah Field-Lowes, formerly co-head of disputes at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP’s London office, and promoting Paddy Patrick to counsel.

Bird & Bird LLP acts in large, highly complex disputes in sectors such as technology and communications, energy and financial services. The team represented Property Alliance Group (PAG) in its claims against RBS, including mis-selling of interest rate swaps, unlawful mistreatment of PAG while it was within RBS’ discredited global restructuring group, and unlawful manipulation of LIBOR. The matter included assessing the duties owed by banks and financial institutions when marketing and entering into derivatives with their customers. Michael Brown represents clients in investigations and enforcement actions by the financial regulators and Jeremy Sharman is also highly rated.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP 's London office 'has very quickly established itself as a leading litigation boutique in London for banking litigation; the firm has attracted some fantastic lawyers, has almost immediately been instructed in a range of high-profile and high-value cases, and the team is very client-driven and commercial'. It has particular experience in handling complex, cross-border banking litigation matters; the practice acted for the Class A1 note holders in proceedings against Canary Wharf Finance II, as issuer, which sought to redeem a portion of the notes ahead of maturity, without making a Spens payment that allows a borrower to redeem the bond early in exchange for a make-whole payment to compensate holders for lost interest. London managing partner and banking litigation head Natasha Harrison and Fiona Huntriss 'are both aggressive but pragmatic - they are really good people to have on your side'. Harrison is also reported to be 'an absolutely outstanding partner who leaves no stone unturned in order to ensure the best result for the client', while Huntriss is 'a stellar lawyer who is immensely hard-working, has a huge amount of experience and provides excellent strategic advice'.

Brown Rudnick LLP 'delivers impressive response times and very accurate and straightforward answers to all queries; the team is also analytical in research and business oriented, and has a good understanding of clients' needs'. The conflict-free team regularly acts in complex, global disputes against major financial institutions, multinationals and sovereigns. It acted for a wealthy Kuwaiti family in proceedings in the Commercial Court against Credit Suisse (UK) and Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) in relation to mis-sold structured capital-at-risk products. Neil Micklethwaite is head of international disputes Europe; and Jane Colston is 'to the point, calm and aggressive when needed, and always has very good knowledge of the case she is in charge of - she makes clients feel safe'. Other recommended names are Neill Shrimpton, Christian Toms and Nicholas Tse, who divides his time between London and Paris. Ravinder Thukral, Chloe Pawson-Pounds  and Olga Bischof were made partners; counsel Anupreet Amole was hired from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Gerald Byrne is a key associate. Jean-François Le Gal left for Pinsent Masons LLP.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP hired Jake McQuitty, a former head of investigations and enforcement EMEA at Barclays, from TLT. The 'down-to-earth and pleasant-to-deal-with team' covers all aspects of contentious civil, criminal and regulatory work for the firm’s major financial institution client base; in a long-running matter, Andrew Legg continued to defend Law Debenture Trust Corporation against litigation issues arising from its involvement as a bond trustee in five sets of bonds issued in the 1980s by various Bell Group companies; the case involves complex issues of statutory and contractual interpretation. Matthew Allen’s dispute experience includes structured products, derivatives and complex banking disputes; and David Flack, who is 'a good technical lawyer with commercial experience and pragmatism', is experienced in all aspects of wholesale and retail banking litigation and regulatory investigations work. Jennifer Miles and Mariafrancesca De Leo are also highly rated.

Fieldfisher's 'team is very knowledgeable, responsive and commercial; it is also very client friendly and the matter partner is always readily available'. The practice specialises in high-value, complex disputes, often for international clients, and the practice is increasingly involved in matters that combine litigation with insolvency or contentious regulatory issues. In an example of a high-value complex derivatives dispute concerning interpretation of the standard form ISDA Master Agreement, the team successfully acted for the liquidator of Lehman Brothers Finance in a claim against Belgian Bank, KBC Bank. The recommended advisers are Duncan Black, who is 'always very responsive and commercial in his approach to matters and in the advice he gives'; Kit Jarvis, who is 'a very tough negotiator and excellent at building client relationships'; and Andrew Lafferty and Aymen Khoury as well as directors Tracey Wright and the 'very helpful' Julia Dodds.

Jones Day 'combines the advantages of a big worldwide firm well-used to servicing huge corporate clients with a genuinely litigation-focused culture which routinely delivers excellent results for its clients'. The practice excels across the spectrum of banking litigation, from disputes relating to sophisticated bank products to high-profile cases involving major bank failures. Recent matters include acting for foreign exchange traders across various institutions involved in the international investigations and litigation surrounding the alleged manipulation of foreign exchange markets. The 'tactically astute' Sion Richards is particularly focused on major fraud, asset tracing, and corruption investigations, as well as contentious insolvency disputes; Lucas Moore is 'very clever and with a nice manner'; and Adam Brown is 'one of the finest solicitors around - a knowledgeable lawyer with a fine sense of judgment, he is very hardworking, efficient and supremely calm under pressure'. Harriet Territt is also highly rated.

Macfarlanes LLP's 'high-quality and hardworking associates and partners are accurate, professional, thorough and willing to be commercial, but not at the expense of legal precision'. The practice handles disputes and investigations involving banking, finance and financial services' business, including financial crime. Highlights included acting for British Bankers’ Association (BBA), and its subsidiary company BBA LIBOR, in defence of a multibillion-dollar claim in the High Court brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (a US government body), as receiver for 39 US banks, against the BBA, BBA LIBOR and others; the case related to alleged suppression of the US Dollar LIBOR interest rate benchmark during the financial crisis. Barry Donnelly is highly rated, Dan Lavender is 'pragmatic, retains perspective and is good under pressure'; and Matt McCahearty is 'a solid lawyer who is growing in stature'.  Aalia Datoo is a notable senior solicitor.

With strong cross-border expertise, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP acts in large, complex banking disputes in the market. Julian Stait led the defence to Rabobank against competition and fraud claims brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (on behalf of 39 failed US banks) in the English High Court against Rabobank and others for significant losses; these proceedings followed an alleged agreement between the defendants artificially to suppress USD LIBOR rates during the height of the financial crisis and raised complex procedural and evidential issues. Charles Evans and Tom Canning are also key advisers and William Charles is a well regarded senior associate.

Mishcon de Reya LLP's 'well resourced and experienced team'¬†acts in¬†large finance disputes, particularly in the private equity and hedge funds space. The team defended Maze Sarl against a Commercial Court claim concerning enforcement action taken by VTB, Russia's second largest bank over the majority shares in Vivacom, the largest telecoms network in Bulgaria, such shares being pledged to VTB as security for a ‚ā¨150m loan. Masoud Zabeti¬†heads the finance and banking disputes group; James Oldnall¬†is 'a very able individual'; and¬†Adam Epstein¬†is 'very clever, thoughtful and meticulous in his preparation and running of a case'. Derval Walsh, Mohammed Khamisa QC¬† and¬†Genevieve Quierin¬†are also highly rated, along with contentious regulatory partner¬†Guy Wilkes, who¬†was hired from Mayer Brown International LLP.¬†

Squire Patton Boggs 'possesses the necessary experience, expertise and calibre of lawyer to provide an excellent service across each stage of the litigation process'. The practice fields lawyers with expertise in international fraud and asset tracing claims and asset-based lending matters; and it regularly acts for banks, asset managers, trading platforms and other financial institutions in complex disputes, often with cross-border elements. The practice also specialises in all types of commercial and financial fraud investigations, including employee fraud. Laurence Winston heads up the firm’s CIS fraud initiative; and Gareth Timms is 'a fighting general who brings the attributes and calm judgment of someone who has seen it all before and is phased by nothing'. Other key names include Robert Weekes and Chris Webber, while the notable directors are the 'hardworking and analytical' Stephen Cole, who is 'a great lawyer to have in a client's corner and who gets on with the job with thoroughness and humour', and recently promoted Nicola Phillips.

Taylor Wessing LLP's banking litigation practice covers derivatives, collateralised debt obligations, funds and structured products; has extensive expertise in mis-selling disputes; and the firm fields lawyers with experience in complex, cross-border financial frauds. Shane Gleghorn’s experience includes acting for the liquidators of Cayman Islands’ company, Saad Investments Company, in high-value transatlantic banking litigation involving syndicated facilities and synthetic notes; Gleghorn is 'very bright, very professional and very good with clients'. Other key advisers are Laurence Lieberman, Tim Strong, Stephen Flaherty and David McCluskey.

Frequently acting for financial institutions, corporations and individuals, Clyde & Co LLP ’s banking litigation practice covers complex multi-jurisdictional cases. The team is particularly noted for disputes involving derivatives cases and interest rate swap issues; and the key advisers are Neil Jamieson, James Cooper, Andrew Foster and Helen Rowlands.

Collyer Bristow LLP is best known for conflict-free litigation against banks;and disputes regarding complex products and financial structures including derivatives, benchmark manipulation, assignment of bank debts, and distressed debt trading, along with syndicated lending, securitisation, and unregulated collective investment schemes. It acted for Secure Capital (SC), a Luxembourg investment vehicle, in Commercial Court proceedings against Credit Suisse, which had issued longevity notes; SC alleged that the notes were designed to fail. Stephen Rosen, Janine Alexander, Robin Henry and Richard Viegas are the recomended names.

The 'excellent boutique' litigation practice DaySparkes is a conflict-free law firm that acts for a range of companies, hedge funds and high-net-worth individuals and is 'able to take on interesting and complex financial disputes'. Examples of recent work include acting for class X note holders in their claims against the issuer, note trustee and cash manager of commercial mortgage-backed securities for the recovery of significant underpayments of class X interest. Michael Sparkes specialises in banking and finance litigation and complex fraud claims; and John Day has substantial experience of obtaining and defending injunctions and other forms of interim relief, including freezing orders, search and seizure orders, and anti-suit relief. Sparkes and Day are 'really switched on when it comes to financial disputes and offer an admirable pragmatic, no-nonsense approach to claims'.

Humphries Kerstetter LLP is a a niche City litigation, arbitration and investigations practice that is 'responsive, decisive, authoritative and normally wins'. It acted for several groups of UK high street retailers, online merchants and local government in high-profile claims against Visa and MasterCard for the alleged overcharging of multilateral interchange fees. Senior partner and 'outstanding litigator' Mark Humphries served as head of advocacy at Linklaters LLP for over fifteeen years; and managing partner Kristopher Kerstetter conducts internal investigations and provides advice for the purpose of compliance with international anti-corruption laws, including those of the US and the UK, as well as representing clients before associated regulators. Christopher Braithwaite, and James Russell are other names to note.

Kingsley Napley LLP regularly acts on behalf of both individuals and corporate entities making claims against banks, financial advisers and other investment bodies for negligence and breach of contract, with particular experience in investor and mis-selling claims, fraud-related disputes and misrepresentations. Richard Foss leads the disputes practice and is experienced in both obtaining and defending injunctive proceedings, including freezing and search orders. Gerard Cukier, Sue Thackeray, William Christopher and Ryan Mowat are all highly rated.

Typically representsing senior executives, financial institutions and funds, Morrison & Foerster LLP’s 'particularly good' London litigation team is best known for complex, cross-border disputes, financial crime and white-collar investigations (including a significant number of high-stakes FCA and SFO matters, as well as contentious insolvencies. The team played a lead role advising the Icelandic administrators of Landsbanki, including recent bankruptcy proceedings in the UK and action for recovery of assets in the UK, Belgium and Spain. London disputes head Jonathan Wheeler is 'a real details-man, who is very careful and bright'; Kevin Roberts, Paul Friedman and Gemma Anderson are also highly rated; and Shawna Pasquale and James Lloyd are key associates.

PCB Litigation LLP acts both for and against banks in substantial litigation, including high-profile work for Russian and CIS banks. The team acted for two of eight defendants, who had proceedings commenced against them by Commerzbank and two others seeking declaratory relief in connection with claims surrounding a structured investment instrument issued by Commerzbank, which involved fixed rate bonds, an unsecured loan note and a swaps agreement; the defendants’ counterclaim is based on claims for unlawful conspiracy, deceit, dishonest assistance, negligence and breach of fiduciary duty. Anthony Riem is 'very experienced'; Trevor Mascarenhas is' assured and extremely bright'; Steven Philippsohn is 'a lateral thinker extraordinaire, who can see brilliant points outside the box'; and Nick Ractliff and recently promoted partner Jon Felce are 'dedicated and thorough'.

Pinsent Masons LLP's 'outstanding team' is particularly known for handling major claims against banks, including mis-selling claims and claims concerning the conduct of restructuring and insolvency units in banks. The team acted for two Philippines’ state corporations in the electricity generation sector, which are in dispute with Lehman Brothers Special Financing over the valuation of the close-out amount on a Philippine Peso/USD currency swap; the case raises issues of general market importance, including whether the replacement transaction which the state corporations used to calculate their loss was a true economic equivalent of the defaulted transaction. Stuart McNeill is head of investment banking litigation; Edinburgh-based Jim Cormack is banking and finance litigation head; international civil fraud Alan Sheeley is 'extremely commercial and able to identify and pursue the business exigencies of clients'; Michael Fenn is 'always calm, authoritative and highly diligent'; and legal director Michael Hawthorne is 'a brilliant technical lawyer, with excellent depth of experience'.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP>’s banking litigation practice stems from the firm’s significant finance work, particularly regarding asset (including shipping and aviation) and trade finance. 'There is real quality and tremendous value at the firm, which fields first-rank lawyers with none of the ego'. Team head Andrew Savage , who is 'a completely class act and whose own attention to detail inspires the same from his team', has acted both for and against various national and international banks in complex disputes, including cases relating to the ISDA Master Agreement (MA)’s terms; he led advice to Lehman Brothers Finance (in liquidation) in one of the first cases to be transferred to the Financial List concerning calculation of loss under the ISDA MA. Other key advisers include maritime litigator Charles Buss, who 'always provides clear, concise advice, gets straight to the heart of the matter, is never phased by the other side and exudes confidence in managing clients through the dispute process', Andrew Ward and Andrew Hutcheon. Thomas Ross was hired from Ropes & Gray LLP.

'With the resources to handle large-scale litigation', Burges Salmon LLP's key practice areas include representing banks in disputes involving facilities, derivatives and hedging, securitisation, acquisition finance, investment management, and professional negligence. Other notable areas are insolvency advice and security recovery; the mis-selling of financial products and services; advising financial services providers that are the subject of enquiries, investigations or enforcement proceedings; and investigations and proceedings relating to fraud, money laundering, sanctions, bribery and corruption, including acting for regulators. Bristol-based unit head David Hall is 'very commercial and pragmatic in his approach', Andrew Burnette is 'very energetic and commercially minded', and Kari McCormick is also a key contact.

'One of the rising forces in London', Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP's financial services litigation and regulation London team was established in late 2016; it focuses on investment and financial services disputes for investment banks as well as hedge and sovereign wealth funds. The team acted for Goldman Sachs International in complex multi-party, multi-jurisdictional proceedings arising out of the transfer of assets and liabilities of Banco Espirito Santo in Portugal to a bridge bank, Novo Banco, including the legal effect of resolutions of the member state’s central bank on the transferability of a substantial loan. Steven Baker, formerly the head of Bird & Bird LLP's London dispute resolution group, is 'a first-rate litigator who is very well organised, calm under pressure, has excellent judgement and is a good choice for any large-scale litigation'. Jenna Rennie and Janaki Tampi are the associates to note.

DAC Beachcroft LLP is particularly noted for its sector experience in in insurance, health and real estate; and the practice has acted in a wide range of disputes including loan recoveries, enforcing securities, bond and complex derivatives litigation, fraud, asset-tracing, injunctive relief, bribery, corruption and money laundering, international sanctions and FCA regulatory investigations. John Bramhall has represented numerous clients in the long-running LIBOR, EURIBOR and Forex investigations in the UK, US and Europe; and Jonathan Brogden’s recent work focused primarily on banking-related litigation, FCA investigations, and enforcement and corporate crime. Matthew Wescott joined Carter-Ruck.

Fladgate LLP's disputes group includes pre-empting potential claims or defences; recovery litigation, including disputed security and enforcement; insolvency matters; fraud; and payment systems. Other areas of strength are mis-selling claims, including swaps; claims against professionals, including surveyors, accountants and solicitors; and disputes between banks. Representative experience includes acting for a financial services firm in the prosecution of its claim for commission against its former client, an international maritime group. Steven Mash¬†is a specialist in civil fraud matters and Bree Taylor¬†has acted for claimants in actions against major banks. Other names to note are Simon Ekins, Simon Brew¬†and Alexander Wildsch√ľtz.

Key areas of work for Foot Anstey’s nationwide practice, which 'provides an outstanding service in finance-related litigation', include complex agricultural receiverships; enforcing shari'ah-compliant finance agreements; disputes over business finance contracts; and the pursuit of professional negligence claims for banks against surveyors and lawyers. Areas of recent growth for the team include cyber fraud and electronic payments disputes. Highlights included successfully acting for a major Scottish bank in recovery of a high-value disputed shortfall commercial claim. Dispute resolution group head Steven Richards and Mark Rhys-Jones are the names to note.

Gowling WLG is 'a good-quality firm with a good breadth of service offering'. The practice acts in high-profile regulatory matters, including those relating to LIBOR and FX; has significant and longstanding relationships with a number of banks; and has been instructed on significant matters arising out of the credit crisis. Other areas of note are restructuring and fraud-related disputes. The team defended J P Morgan Ventures Energy Corporation against a claim commenced in the Commercial Court by a Swedish natural resources company, which concerned alleged breach of several commercial contracts for the supply of straight-run fuel oil; the matter gives rise to interesting questions of jurisdiction and service, as well as the international customs implications of trading in oil from Libya. James Sidwell is UK commercial litigation team head and Alex Jay is 'an approachable and sensible lawyer'.  Other notable advisers include Andrew Witts, director Catherine Naylor and principal associate Verity Barker.

Hausfeld is 'experienced and capable and creates a strong team with counsel and experts'. It has developed from being a specialist competition litigation firm, to a broader boutique commercial litigation practice that regularly litigates high-profile financial services disputes on behalf of claimants. The team recently advised on complex loan financing, derivatives transactions and wider banking misconduct, as well as claims arising out of LIBOR, FOREX and other benchmark manipulations in the financial markets. It acted for Stuart Wall, who alleged that RBS caused the failure of his student accommodation business, Opal Property Group; the allegations included RBS’ involvement in LIBOR rigging and the actions of its global restructuring group. Anthony Maton is managing partner of the London office; Lianne Craig is 'superb and able to project manage and implement strategy on the largest of claims'; John McElroy 'has demonstrated himself to be a key individual, who is able to effectively work with others in the team and is adroit at balancing detail with an overview of objectives'; and senior associate David Lawne 'shows notable skills and experience in the area of banking litigation and he is switched on and easy to deal with'.

K&L Gates LLP is best known for disputes involving real estate finance; banking-related professional negligence; structured finance, particularly corporate trustee and servicing related disputes; white-collar and regulatory-related investigations in the banking sector; and insurance coverage advisory work and related disputes in the banking sector. Anne McCarthy, John Magnin and Sarah Turpin are the key names and Clare Tanner  is a notable counsel.

Locke Lord LLP’s banking litigation team head Kevin Heath is well known for asset finance and consumer credit disputes, with related expertise in insolvency and e-money disputes; Heath is 'incredibly knowledgeable, prompt to respond, fantastic at assessing situations and providing options, and assisting with the best way forward'. Joanne Davis heads the firm's asset, leasing and consumer finance division in the UK, and assists clients with asset and motor finance asset recoveries and finance litigation.  Rachael Browning and Nicole Fry are notable associates.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP hired Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan from Norton Rose Fulbright in 2017. The London team’s banking litigation practice is experienced in advising banks and financial institutions in disputes, litigation and investigations arising out of complex financial instruments, lending and retail products. In addition, it advises banks and senior executives in relation to investigations and enforcement issues, including financial regulation, insider trading and market abuse, fraud and corruption, sanctions, and other financial crime issues involving UK, US and international regulators and prosecuting agencies. Other recommended advisers include Peter Sharp.

Paul Hastings LLP hired corporate crime and investigations partner Simon Airey from DLA Piper, while Michelle Duncan  left the firm to join transatlantic disputes boutique Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP. The team is noted for disputes relating to securitisations and other structured investment vehicles. It acted for Cabot Financial Debt Recovery Services, the purchaser of Hillesden Securities (a debt recovery business) in numerous claims against the vendor for breaches of warranty and failure to pay the transaction documents' indemnities, which arose out of the manner in which the business was conducted pre-acquisition. Other key contacts are senior associate Ian McKim and associates Jack Thorne, who is 'unbelievably hardworking and a pleasure to work with', and Tom Nevin.

Penningtons Manches LLP is experienced both in acting for and against banks, including advising business clients that have suffered loss, individuals who have been mis-sold products, and former employees; and the team has particular expertise in high-profile swaps litigation. Alex Fox is business and finance disputes head, and Rustam Dubash and David Niven are also highly regarded. Dan Hyde joined from Howard Kennedy LLP; Hyde has an established white-collar practice that encompasses commercial fraud, business crime and contentious financial regulation.

Shearman & Sterling LLP’s London team is highly rated for its advice to financial institution clients on a wide range of banking and finance disputes, both at domestic and international level. The firm also fields lawyers who are experienced in regulatory matters and investigations. Jo Rickard and Susanna Charlwood are the names to note.

Shoosmiths LLP’s London-based banking litigation team is 'very quick to reply to questions, looks for a win-win scenario and sticks to the facts'. It acts for major banks and finance providers in relation to retail, corporate and wholesale banking disputes that involve reputational and regulatory issues. David Pacey heads the finance disputes and contentious regulatory practice; and well known in the marine sector, Elliot Bishop has acted in multi-jurisdictional litigation on behalf of major banks and insurers in respect of policy coverage issues and international enforcement of loan security against pleasure boats and superyachts.

Teacher Stern LLP's banking litigation practice is headed by Philip Rubens, who is well known for large-scale actions against banks concerning the mis-selling of financial products. The department also undertakes actions involving commodity litigation, fraud claims, insolvency litigation and professional negligence actions. Recent matters include advising HMG Investment Holdings, as claimant against NatWest Bank, in claims for the mis-selling of an interest rate hedging product and substantial consequential losses. Senior associate David Bowman is also recommended.

TLT 'has a major banking and financial services litigation practice'. The City-based financial services disputes and investigations team is led by Andrew Lyon; the team’s main focus is on retail, commercial and wholesale banking litigation and investigations. Paul Gair led advice to a consortium of 13 Indian banks in relation to the registration of a high-value Indian judgment in England & Wales against Dr Vijay Mall`ya, who owns the Force India F1 team. Other recommended advisers are Russell Kelsall, who has a particular focus on consumer credit, regulated mortgages, payment services and savings; Peter Richards-Gaskin, who heads the London professional negligence team; and Michael Isaacs, who joined in 2018 and was previously the national banking litigation at Pinsent Masons. Former investigations and enforcement head Jake McQuitty left for Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP and former financial services regulatory head Emily Benson joined Keystone Law.

Routinely retained on complex domestic and multi-jurisdictional banking and financial services disputes, Wallace LLP 's 'excellent practice' is conflict free and able to litigate against the banks and financial institutions. The practice has particular expertise in disputes involving breach of duty, contractual interpretation, breach of transactional documentation, contentious restructurings and allegations of mis-selling, misconduct, misrepresentation, deceit and fraud. Alexander Weinberg is noted for complex, high-value disputes involving financial institutions and hedge funds, including those under the ISDA Master Agreement; the 'very hardworking and responsive' Weinberg is 'particularly good, has a clear incisive mind and knows his subject'.  Other recommended names are Oli Goldman , who is 'very bright, very client focused and has considerable litigation experience', and Craig Thompson.

Relatively conflict-free firm Withers LLP is 'well known for large-scale claims against banks and financial institutions', with financial mis-selling disputes of specific interest to the firm’s wider high-net-worth private client base. Recent matters for the 'powerful team' include defending the Provincia di Brescia (an Italian local authority) against proceedings, which involve a claim by Dexia Crediop for declaratory relief in relation to interest rate swap transactions. Team head Andrew Wass is 'calm, unflappable and able to distinguish the wood from the trees in massive litigation'; Peter Wood is 'a true leader and an excellent lawyer and deal-maker'; Christopher Coffin advises on derivatives disputes, loan recoveries, asset tracing and fraud and has a particular specialism in advising clients from Russia, Ukraine and the CIS; Harvey Knight is well known for his contentious financial service expertise. Eleni Polycarpou is also widely respected.


Commercial litigation

Index of tables

  1. Commercial litigation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Commercial litigation clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

'Unquestionably one of the leading litigation practices', Allen & Overy LLP's 'highly efficient, thorough and extremely professional practice' acts for a raft of blue-chip clients across a wide range of business sectors. It has a long track record of acting in challenging and business-critical litigation, often with multiple cross-border elements, and takes a large number of cases to the highest courts. Illustrative of the type of matters on which major corporates instruct the practice, it successfully acted for Airbus in cross-border, complex litigation that included injunctions and strike-out applications in England and India; the claims arose out of the financial difficulties experienced by India's Kingfisher Airlines, which caused it to cancel orders for 82 Airbus jets and led to a consortium of Indian banks attempting to recover amounts paid to Airbus. In other highlights, the team acted for the European Union and the European Investment Bank in major multi-jurisdictional litigation concerning the recovery of significant sums owed to them by the Syrian Arab Republic. Commercial and corporate litigation group head Lawson Caisley's experience includes fraud and white collar crime, cyber security breaches and fund management disputes. James Partridge is 'an excellent litigator, who sees all the angles and gives excellent strategic advice, and is great to work with'. Joanna Page is 'always focused on securing the best possible outcome'. Jonathan Hitchin's practice includes matters arising from the acquisition and disposal of businesses and companies, joint venture failures, insolvency issues and fraud claims. Other highly rated practitioners include Alice Englehart and Richard Farnhill.

According to some, Clifford Chance LLP has 'perhaps the finest commercial litigation department in the City; there is no dispute, however large and complex, that the firm does not handle superbly'. In a high-profile, high-value dispute involving litigation and investigations on both sides of the Atlantic, the team defended Autonomy founder, Dr Mike Lynch (ML), against allegations of financial impropriety and misrepresentation made by Hewlett Packard, which acquired ML's software company in 2011 for $11bn; and in a recent landmark Supreme Court decision on contractual penalty clauses, it represented Talal El Makdessi in his battle against a WPP subsidiary, which was particularly significant as it was the first time the UK Supreme Court (and its predecessor) has considered the penalties' doctrine in over 100 years. Jeremy Sandelson is 'a superb client handler, a highly sophisticated tactician, a delightful team leader, and outstanding when the possibility of losing cannot be entertained'. Philip Hill is 'the smartest litigation solicitor in the UK; he knows the best route to victory'. Maxine Mossman is 'an up-and-coming superstar of the UK’s top-end commercial litigation world'; and Julian Acratopulo 'regularly handles the biggest cases around'. Other widely respected advisers include Simon Davis, Helen Carty and Christopher Yates, along with Roger Leese, Jeremy Kosky, Kelwin Nicholls, Matthew Scully and Roger Best, while James Cranston is 'an outstanding senior associate' and Guy Burkitt is 'as good an associate as clients could want'.  Iain Roxborough left for Keystone Law.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP has a longstanding reputation for acting in the market's most complex, cross-border commercial disputes that frequently involve multi-jurisdictional issues. The 'meticulous litigator' Simon Orton, who heads up the financial institutions disputes group, acts for retail and investment banks and other financial institutions in high-value litigation; his representative experience includes advising significant global financial institutions on multi-jurisdictional investigations concerning activities in various trading businesses. Other widely respected advisers include Patrick Swain, whose practice includes advising clients on M&A-related and other shareholder disputes, commercial fraud claims, professional negligence litigation and contentious insolvency; Matthew Bruce, who has led a number of major corporate investigations for blue-chip clients arising from allegations such as bribery and corruption, fraud and mis-accounting, and whose recent matters have involved Asia, the Middle East, former CIS territories and Africa; Geoff Nicholas, whose work covers anti-bribery and corruption, fraud, anti-money laundering and sanctions; and James Kennedy, whose recent commercial litigation experience includes several cases involving multi-jurisdiction civil and arbitral proceedings concerning assets worth several billion dollars.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP has one of the largest and most specialised practices in the UK for all types of commercial and corporate litigation and across all sectors; the team was recently particularly active in significant  commercial and corporate litigation for major banks and financial institutions as well as matters involving the energy, mining, consumer products and TMT sectors, among others. It achieved a settlement on behalf of the RBS Group (RBSG) in its defence of actions brought by shareholder and investor groups in connection with RBSG's 2008 rights issue; and represented the SocGen defendants in a claim brought by the Libyan Investment Authority, which entered into a series of trades with SocGen, in respect of which it sought rescission and repayment of the premiums paid. Damien Bryne Hill is UK and US disputes head; Alan Watts is UK commercial litigation head; Rupert Lewis leads the banking litigation practice in London; Natasha Johnson 'has a great deal of experience with the international elements of litigation'; Gregg Rowan is 'a first class-litigator, who has a measured and in-control manner'; and Alexander Oddy is deputy head of the firm's commercial litigation practice. Other recommended names are Philip Carrington, James Baily, Simon Clarke,  Adam Johnson QC, Kirsten Massey, and John Whiteoak, along with John Ogilvie, James Doe, Chris Bushell, and Jeremy Garson. Julian Copeman relocated to the London office from Hong Kong and Donny Surtani and Rachel Lidgate were made partners.

Hogan Lovells International LLP's 'service is superb, and the guidance clients get is invaluable; the team also understands the court process very well'. The practice was recently active in reported cases in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court, and has specialist expertise in cases involving Russia and the CIS, as well as commercial litigation in the life sciences sector. The team defended National Express (NE) in a Commercial Court action brought against it by Dunn Motor Traction, a coach service operator that previously ran several coach routes on NE's coach network; the damages claim arose from NE's termination of the operating agreement between the parties and involves issues around the construction of the termination provisions. The team also represented Privatbank, the largest bank in Ukraine, in a $2.6bn claim in the High Court's Chancery Division against two high-profile Ukrainian oligarchs in respect of a major fraud that involved three English companies and three BVI companies. Ivan Shiu is 'particularly good and always available, even with transatlantic time differences'; Chris Hardman regularly works on very large matters before the English courts; Richard Lewis has extensive experience in cross-border litigation and fraud, including worldwide freezing injunctions and other powerful and unusual asset preservation relief; and Alex Sciannaca is well known for disputes arising out of Russia and the CIS, particularly Ukraine. The other key practitioners are Michael Davison, Angela Dimsdale Gill, Neil Mirchandani, together with Michael Roberts and Rebecca Wales. Jon Holland and Andrea Monks  left for Latham & Watkins  in 2018.

The 'absolutely top-rate' practice at Linklaters LLP stands out for its multi-jurisdictional, cross-practice capability when handling large, complex cases involving top-tier UK and international companies; and the practice regularly advises clients in the financial services sector, but has seen an increase in work from the mining, telecoms, charities and technology sectors. Recent highlights include Tom Cassels leading advice to Hutchison 3G UK in its breach of contract claim in the Commercial Court against EE that involved the parties' agreement for a rollout of network infrastructure on their shared mobile telecoms network; the matter involves complex contract law issues, extensive technical evidence and has unique implications for the ongoing operation of one of the UK's major mobile telecoms networks. In other matters, Ben Carroll acted for Glencore International, a large mining concern and commodities trader, in defending it against a breach of contract claim brought by Minera las Bambas and MMG Swiss Finance that related to the sale of a large mine in South America; the dispute related to the application of indemnities given in the sale and purchase agreement and turns on the proper contractual interpretation of a number of indemnities. Michael Bennett is global dispute resolution head; and Satindar Dogra is London dispute resolution head. Also recommended are Tom Lidstrom, who is 'a class act who stands out from the crowd', Patrick Robinson, Nick Porter, and Harriet Ellis, along with Rory Conway and Susana Cao Miranda. Marc Harvey relocated from the Hong Kong office to London, while Kathryn Ludlow retired from the firm.

Acting for FTSE 100 clients across all industry sectors, Slaughter and May's 'excellent team' is widely respected for high-stakes commercial and corporate litigation, including the full range of post-acquisition, joint venture, shareholder and partnership disputes that frequently have cross-border elements.  Sarah Lee, who was elected head of the firm's dispute resolution group, acted for Mercuria Energy Europe Trading in claims brought against it, and its co-defendant, RBS, in the Financial List, which arose out of trading in the carbon emissions market in 2009; the claims relate to alleged missing trader intra-Community VAT fraud. In other significant matters, Jonathan Cotton acted for Diageo in proceedings against Vijay Mallya (the owner of both Force India Formula 1 team and Kingfisher Airlines), his son and various associated entities; the claim relates to various alleged breaches by the defendants of numerous commercial agreements. Other highly rated advisers include Richard Swallow, whose practice covers banking and financial services disputes, fraud and asset tracing, energy sector matters and contentious antitrust issues, including follow-on damages actions; and Damian Taylor, who 'provides clear and pragmatic advice on difficult questions'. Also recommended are Deborah Finkler, Efstathios Michael, Ewan Brown, Jonathan Clark, Richard Jeens and James Stacey, while Camilla Sanger is a key associate. Richard Clark retired from the partnership and Nick Gray joined international arbitration think tank, Newton Arbitration. 

'Providing good knowledge and understanding together with strategic advice and excellent service', Ashurst is well known for complex, high-value commercial disputes across a range of industries, such as transport, infrastructure, automotive and power, along with gaming, telecoms, food and drink, and pharmaceuticals, among others. In one of the largest contentious waste project sector disputes in the country, the practice successfully represented Interserve Construction in a High Court claim concerning the termination of a contract by Hitachi Zosen Inova for the construction of an energy-from-waste plant; it also defended longstanding client McLaren Automotive (McLaren) against a dispute relating to the development of McLaren's GT3 and GT4 racing cars, supply of parts and provision of after-sales, including substantially reducing the scope of an ex-parte injunction against McLaren. James Levy is London dispute resolution department head; Simon Bromwich 'understands strategy and the wider picture'. Jon Gale  has particular experience in banking disputes as well as public law litigation, including commercial judicial review. Edward Sparrow is also regularly involved in high-profile matters.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is 'outstanding in commercial litigation'. Under the leadership of Lord (Peter) Goldsmith QC, who is London co-managing partner and chair of European and Asian litigation, the team regularly secures significant mandates from the largest companies in the world. The 'simply great' Kevin Lloyd and Richard Lawton acted for BAT Industries (BAT) and BTI 2014 in their litigation to recover dividends plus interest, totalling around $880, from Sequana, Europe’s largest paper and packaging manufacturing and distribution company; the claim arose as a result of indemnities given by BAT in an asset purchase agreement following the sale of various US assets in the 1970s and raised contractual interpretation issues and important company and accounting issues, as well as allegations of breaches of fiduciary duty by the company directors. Tony Dymond, Jane Shvets and the 'extremely hardworking' international counsel Christopher Boyne are also highly rated.

Latham & Watkins fields 'lawyers with strong intellect and technical ability, combined with savvy commercial and tactical advice'. The firm grew the 'swiftly expanding practice' when it hired Jon Holland and Andrea Monks , who advise financial institutions on significant disputes and contentious regulatory matters, from Hogan Lovells International LLP; and Ian Felstead, who is known for commercial, media, and regulatory litigation, from CMS. Felstead is 'an excellent litigation lawyer who is capable of handling complex disputes'. In a claim for contractual rectification, the team acted for Barclays Bank, which acted as the security agent in a £525m bond financing of the Four Seasons Healthcare Group (FS); the High Court dispute arose from an alleged common mistake that FS alleges gives rise to a right to rectify the terms of security given by it. Oliver Browne is chair of the litigation and trial department in London; other highly rated advisers include Philip Clifford QC, Stuart Alford QC, Sophie Lamb QC, Charles Claypoole and Martin Davies. Jumana Rahman, and Dan Smith are notable counsels; and John Kallaugher retired from the partnership in 2017.

Regarded as one of the City’s leading business litigation firms, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP recently launched contentious tax and tax investigations and construction dispute practices. The London office's co-managing partners are Richard East and Sue Prevezer QC. Recent work included acting for a group of 11 international bondholders, comprising hedge funds and pension funds, against a Turkish conglomerate and its directors in a claim before the English Commercial Court for fraudulent misrepresentation regarding the restructuring of its $200m debt. Other recommended litigators are Nick Marsh, 'who is brilliant at managing complex, high-value commercial litigation'; Ted Greeno, who has acted in disputes ranging from general contract and tort claims, to company law, public law, IP, tax, and antitrust matters; and Alex Gerbi, who has particular expertise in disputes relating to Russia and the CIS territories. Robert Hickmott, Matthew Bunting, Khaled Khatoun and James Bremen, along with of counsel Aidan O’Rourke, are also highly rated. Paul Friedman joined gunnercooke LLP.

Simmons & Simmons' 'good-value team is responsive and thoughtful in its advice and the practice's strength in depth, including the more junior lawyers, is impressive'. The firm has particular sector strength in TMT, energy and infrastructure and life sciences disputes; in recent multi-jurisdictional matters, the group acted for Toronto Stock Exchange-listed NYX Gaming Group, a supplier of digital gaming products that was the target of a potential acquisition by Scientific Games; the litigation involved bookmaker William Hill, which brought proceedings in multiple jurisdictions in an attempt to disrupt the acquisition, including by seeking injunctions in Guernsey and London. It also advised The Capital Markets Company (UK), a global finance and technology consultancy, on a dispute arising out of an alleged conspiracy in the FinTech sector. UK dispute resolution practice head Ian Hammond and Paul Baker 'have a tremendous capacity for absorbing information and attention to detail'; Patrick Boylan is a specialist in international disputes; Ed Crosse specialises in handling complex financial and regulatory disputes for financial institutions; and Colin Passmore is an expert on privilege. Robert Turner is also a widely respected adviser and Paolo Caldato and Kirsten Kitt are the managing associates to note.

'A good choice for major commercial disputes', Addleshaw Goddard has go-to lawyers for corporate and M&A disputes, commercial contract and termination disputes, complex IT, telecoms and technology litigation, and civil fraud as well as finance disputes, competition litigation and product liability. The team successfully represented BP Oil International in its defence of a $70m claim brought by National Bank of Abu Dhabi, which arose out of a complex invoice discounting agreement; this was the first-ever case to be tried under the Rolls Building's pilot Shorter Trials Scheme. Michael Barnett is litigation head and particularly known for disputes in the financial markets, commercial litigation and civil fraud areas; Mark Molyneux is national head of commercial litigation; London commercial litigation lead Louisa Caswell is 'a strongly rising star among the partners'; and Jon Tweedale is 'a stellar lawyer who inspires loyalty amongst clients'. Other highly rated advisers include insurance disputes practice leader Richard Wise, together with legal director Mark Chesher, while the key managing associates are Natasha Winter , who is 'experienced, personable and efficient, gets significant results and has good connections with chambers', and Richard Levett, who is 'a thoughtful, intellectual lawyer with great litigation instincts'. The firm expanded its London corporate crime and investigations offering through the hire of specialist Michelle de Kluyver from Allen & Overy LLP.

Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP was formed in 2018 from the merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP and Bryan Cave, the latter firm bringing in Mathew Rea, Robert Dougans, counsel Maria Gritsenko and associates Joseph McCormick  and Serena Cooke. The practice 'has an excellent handling of cases', with many of the team's recent highlights including corporate elements such as derivative claims, shareholder disputes and unfair prejudice claims. It acted for BCA Trading in an unfair prejudice claim by the managing director of an acquired company, who remains a minority shareholder; the case involved the practice reportedly securing, for the first time on a contested application, an order for the use of predictive coding technology. The 'strategic' Oliver Glynn-Jones  heads the commercial dispute resolution team; Graham Shear, who 'has a sharp focus on getting the best outcome', heads the international litigation and corporate risk group; Oran Gelb is 'excellent'; and Joby Davies is also a key adviser. Andrew Tuson, who heads the corporate crime practice, is another key name. Sarah McAtominey and Helen Armstrong are notable senior associates.

Clyde & Co LLP's¬†'litigators have good commercial judgment and provide good-value service'.¬†The practice manages litigation across the full gamut of commercial disputes, including contractual disputes, defence of class actions, shareholder disputes, M&A and joint venture conflicts, fraud, jurisdictional issues, warranty disputes, and enforcement proceedings. It acted for¬†Stichting Vestia,¬†a Dutch social housing association that is pursuing a claim against Deutsche Bank in amounts up to approximately ‚ā¨800m; the matter involves allegations of bribery, lack of authority and inappropriate financial transactions.¬†Chris Burdett, who divides time between London and Guildford,¬†has particular expertise in the technology, airline and security sectors; Richard Power¬†is noted for oil and gas and energy disputes; and Neil Jamieson, who¬†is 'an extremely clever solicitor', acts in professional negligence claims. Other experienced advisers include¬†Helen Rowlands, Tom White¬†and¬†consultant Conrad Walker.¬†The legal directors to note are Anna Myrvang, who¬†'has a phenomenal memory for detail',¬†and Nicola VinovrŇ°ki.¬†Tim Crockford, who¬†has particular expertise in professional negligence liability disputes, joined from Gowling WLG.

CMS 'demonstrates an openness to discuss different perspectives and deliver advice in a business-friendly way'. The practice is regularly instructed in complex disputes of significant strategic or financial importance; and the practice is widely respected for energy litigation. It is also highly rated for technology and outsourcing disputes. 'A first-class litigator with all-round skills', Jeremy Mash  led advice to Slater and Gordon (S&G) in its Commercial Court claim against Watchstone Group, formerly known as Quindell, for fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty; this arose from the highly-publicised 2015 acquisition by S&G of Quindell’s legal services division. Litigation team head Jonathan Warne is 'right at the top of the list of commercial litigation partners', Bernard O’Sullivan is noted for civil fraud and regulatory issues, Guy Pendell has a particular cross-border focus, and Steven Corney advises on contractual and tortious disputes and civil fraud matters. Other highly regarded advisers include Richard Bamforth, Omar Qureshi and Ben Trust, along with Andrew Taplin, Lee Gluyas, Sukhi Kaler and Phillip Ashley.  Luke Pardey, who is 'a confident adviser on complex matters', and David Bridge were made partners. the key senior associates are Tim Sales, who is 'on top of cases' detail', and Louise Boswell.

'Able to put together a team of lawyers for any case of any size', DLA Piper 'has really excellent lawyers'. The practice is frequently instructed on high value, complex cross-border commercial litigation matters, which often give rise to jurisdictional issues and conflicts of laws. It advised the Special Administrator of Cyprus Popular Bank Public Co in its actions to recover high-value losses, arising from allegedly fraudulent transactions entered into by Andreas Vgenopoulos and other former management of the bank and related entities. Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, who is 'fearless and uttely determined to achieve the best result', is global co-litigation  and regulatory chair; Jeremy Andrews, who is 'calm, unruffled and highly intelligent' is co-head of litigation and arbitration; James Carter 'has a good sense of what will work'; and  Jamie Curle is 'responsive, knowledgeable and honest'. Other recommended practitioners include Stephen Sly, Janet Legrand, Richard McGrane, Paul Smith, Sarah Smith and recently promoted partner Edward Shaw.

Conflict-free specialist litigation and arbitration firm Enyo Law LLP's clients include states, central banks, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds, private equity funds and high-net-worth individuals; and the practice 'has a very good reputation for commercial litigation'. Highlights included acting for a Russian individual, Mikhail Shlosberg, in relation to complex litigation arising out of investments in a multinational aluminium business; the matter has involved multiple parties in multiple proceedings and in numerous jurisdictions, including England, BVI and the Netherlands. Much of Simon Twigden's work is of an international nature, with an increasing focus on matters from the CIS, Middle East and North African regions; George Maling has over 20 years’ experience in commercial litigation; and Louise Bell, who recently joined from Olswang LLP, 'always shows great flare for litigation strategy'. The other recommended litigators are Pietro Marino, Edward Allen and Jonathan Brook. Tim Elliss and Nick Jones were made partners in 2017, while Michael Green exited for litigation activist group, RGL Management.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP 'provides a highly commercial approach, penetrating analysis and good teamwork'. The firm was formed in 2017 following the merger between British multinational law firm, Eversheds LLP, and Atlanta-based law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP; and it frequently acts for some of the world’s largest companies in their disputes. Key matters included Mark Davenport leading advice to C Bidco (CB) in relation to its claim for approximately £59m against Celtic Aerospace Ventures (CAV) and its Japanese parent company guarantor; the claim arose from breaches of warranties and indemnities given by CAV in a share purchase agreement under which CB acquired the issued share capital of CAV Aerospace, a business which manufactured aircraft parts. Neville Byford is 'highly focused on clients' objectives';  the 'particularly good' Andrew Legg is 'experienced, knowledgeable and sensible'; and Richard Little regularly acts in high-value actions in the Commercial Court. The recommended principal associates are Lucy Webster and Tim Browning.

Jones Day is 'one of the largest commercial litigation firms in the world and its London office is increasingly a star in its global crown'. It handles market-leading, high-profile cases involving antitrust litigation, commercial fraud, contentious insolvencies and financial services, among other issues. In one of the largest private actions for damages recently pursued in the courts, the team was lead counsel to Mastercard in groundbreaking litigation, brought by retailers from across the UK and EU, in connection with the legality of certain Mastercard fees paid by retailers for payment card transactions. Sion Richards is 'a dynamic head of department with great rainmaking skills' and Craig Shuttleworth is 'a very experienced street fighter'. Other key contacts include Adam Brown and associates Sarah Batley and Daniel Travers.

Macfarlanes LLP is experienced in complex commercial disputes and investigations, and the practice undertakes litigation in sectors including aviation, retail, hotels and beverages, as well as energy, mining and commodities, among others. It has also increasingly acted in corporate and commercial disputes for family offices and entrepreneurs. Highlights included representing Liontrust Asset Management, Liontrust Investment Partners and Liontrust Investment Services, as respondents, in landmark High Court litigation, which made new law in relation to repudiatory breach of contract in the context of LLP agreements. Litigation and dispute resolution head Iain MacKie is 'a class act; he is a great litigator and knows the clients inside out'. Also recommended are Guy Morpuss QC (who heads the advocacy and arbitration groups), Lois Horne, Matt McCahearty,  Geoff Steward, James Popperwell and Simon Nurney.

Mayer Brown International LLP's 'clients cannot speak highly enough of its efficiency, commitment and professionalism'. Stuart Pickford, who is 'an extremely bright, personable litigator whose calm demeanour and insightful analysis are an invaluable contribution', led advice to hotelier, Chen Mei Huan, in a long-running dispute concerning the ownership of shares in a BVI holding company, which (via a Macanese subsidiary) owns the Beijing Imperial Palace Hotel in Macau; the team's role included successfully advising on an appeal to the Privy Council, which set aside a decision of the Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court and ordered a retrial in the BVI. Ian McDonald heads the litigation and dispute resolution practice in London; Alistair Graham is 'one of the best commercial litigators around'; and Miles Robinson acts across a range of sectors, including energy, manufacturing, music, automotive, chemicals and outsourcing. Mark Stefanini and David Allen are also highly rated.

Norton Rose Fulbright's 'professional, organised and capable practice' acts for public and private companies operating across the firm's key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. The team acted for Good Energy Group in relation to its rights and obligations to resist actions taken by an activist shareholder. Peter Scott is EMEA dispute resolution and competition head; Ruth Cowley 'delivers the goods'; Antony Corsi is 'very astute, commercial and succinct'; and Ffion Flockhart 'always sees the bigger picture'. Neil Miller is another name to note, as are of counsel Jane Park-Weir and senior associate Charlie Weston-Simons, who is 'super-smart'. Former Middle East head Patrick Bourke returned to the London office from Dubai, while recently appointed Middle East head Deirdre Walker relocated to the Dubai office. Chris Warren-Smith and Melanie Ryan joined Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP.

'A great choice for the trickiest issues', Pinsent Masons LLP's 'response times are excellent and the overall service is superb'. The practice regularly litigates complex commercial disputes, often with cross-border and multi-jurisdictional elements, for clients in the energy, financial institutions and technology sectors, and for airlines, management corporations, and trust and corporate entities. The team acted for Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, as clamant, in proceedings against the estate of the late Boris Berezovsky and others, including high-value fraud and enforcement proceedings. Michael Fenn is London litigation and regulatory head and Katharine Davies is 'a formidable fighter for her client’s case'. Other key contacts include Alan Sheeley, Stuart McNeill, Ben Fairhead, Glasgow-based risk advisory services group head Laura Cameron and legal directors Richard Dickman and Michael Fletcher. Jean-Francois Le-Gal was hired from Brown Rudnick LLP, Alaistair Culvert was made partner and Mike Hawthorne, who is 'a brilliant technical lawyer', was promoted to legal director. Richard Twomey joined DWF.

'An impressive firm for commercial litigation', Reed Smith LLP is known for its expertise in complex, often multi-jurisdictional, disputes, particularly in corporate and financial services litigation, international arbitration, insurance recovery and media claims. It obtained a high-value judgment for a major bank, as claimant and agent bank for a syndicate of banks, for sums outstanding under a facility agreement, plus fees, costs and interest. Richard Spafford and Ben Summerfield jointly head the commercial and corporate litigation team; Robert Falkner is a contentious financial regulatory expert; Belinda Paisley is an international arbitration specialist; Nick Brocklesby heads the banking litigation practice; Charles Hewetson co-chairs the global regulatory enforcement group; and Peter Hardy is EME commercial disputes group head. George Hoare is a recently promoted counsel and professional liability specialist Jane Howard joined from Gowling WLG.

In addition to handling mainstream commercial disputes work, RPC fields a number of specialist contentious teams covering banking and finance, commodities, tax, employment, real Estate, IP, IT and insurance along with international arbitration, construction, competition and media. The team acted for Ingenious Media Holdings, a media production and finance company (and related companies and directors), in High Court claims brought by a large number of investors; the claims relate to alleged losses said to arise from investments into various film production partnerships and investors' ability to claim sideways loss tax relief. Commercial disputes head Geraldine Elliott has particular expertise in handling warranty claims, shareholder and joint venture disputes, and asset and financial recovery; and Tom Hibbert is global commercial disputes head. Simon Hart, Andy McGregor, Tim Brown, Rupert Boswall, Davina Given, and Parham Kouchikali and Stuart Shepherd are also key practitioners, while Jonathan Cary returned to the London office from Hong Kong. The key senior associates are Daniel Wyatt, Charlotte Henschen (née Ducker) and Matthew Evans.

'A first-class firm with a positive, collaborative culture of integrity', Signature Litigation LLP is a highly specialised dispute resolution firm, with a strong focus on large, complex and often cross-border cases. The practice advised the ECU Group in a pre-action disclosure application against HSBC UK, HSBC Private Bank and HSBC USA for trading data involving a series of foreign exchange trades in excess of £400m. Graham Huntley is the recommended founding partner; Abdulali Jiwaji 'has excellent interpersonal skills, is very good with clients and a pleasure to work with'; and Daniel Spendlove is 'very smart, client focused and details-oriented'. Other key contacts include Simon Bushell, Ioannis Alexopoulos, Natalia Chumak, Hermes Marangos, Adam Rooney, Julian Connerty and Josh Wong .

Stephenson Harwood's 'excellent practice is genuinely focused on litigation'. It¬†has¬†particular expertise in cases involving financial services, shareholder disputes, public international law and fraud, which are frequently¬†multi- jurisdictional. The team represented¬†Blue Power in Business List proceedings against Eni, the Italian oil and gas multinational, which are valued at over ‚ā¨1 bn; the¬†matter arose out of an oil and gas field project, including¬†a claim for breach of contractual obligations of exclusivity that arose from Eni's engagement of third parties.¬†John Fordham¬†is department head;¬†Sue Millar¬†and¬†Edward Davis¬†are co-financial litigation heads; ¬†Richard Gwynne's practice covers¬†banking and finance litigation, shareholder and joint venture disputes, and complex cross-border disputes;¬†and¬†Richard Garcia¬†has¬†particular experience of shareholder, partnership, joint venture, post-acquisition and corporate investment disputes.¬†Sean Jeffrey¬†and Andrew Myers¬†are also highly rated,¬†Kate Cordery¬†was made partner, and Guy Harper¬†and Alina Neal¬†are key senior associates.

Stewarts Law LLP is the largest litigation-only law firm in the UK and one of the few firms able to accept instructions against banks and financial institutions as well as other major corporates. It 'provides an excellent service with able lawyers, who are ready to drop everything and get up to speed at short notice when necessary'. The practice acted for 112 institutional investors, as claimants, in seeking damages further to Tesco's admission that its earlier financial statements were overstated by at least £326m as a result of manipulation of its commercial income; the case is one of the first cases to be brought under new legislation that is designed to address serious corporate mis-statements in published statements.Clive Zietman heads the commercial litigation department and the 'ultra-responsive' Ian Gatt QC 'has a good understanding of clients' priorities'. Other highly rated advisers include Marc Jones, Fiona Gillett, Keith Thomas, Sean Upson, Paul Brehony and Andrew Hill. David Hughes was recruited from Dechert LLP, while Fiona Stewart left the firm.

Travers Smith LLP's 'top-notch team provides clients with an excellent, all-round service'.  In one of the most significant pieces of litigation currently before the English courts, it continued to represent various Hewlett-Packard group companies (HP) in $5bn fraud proceedings in the Chancery Division, which arose out of the $11bn acquisition of Autonomy Corporation by HP in 2011. The 'excellent tactician' Rob Fell was appointed dispute resolution department head, taking over from Stephen Paget-Brown. Andrew King is 'hardworking and clever'; Caroline Edwards 'cares about clients' interests'; and Jan-Jaap Baer is 'very responsive and thorough'. Other recommended practitioners include Huw Jenkin and Toby Robinson, while Heather Gagen and Stephanie Lee were promoted to the partnership.

White & Case LLP 'understands what issues to dispute, with an eye on strategic outcomes that benefit clients' cases'. The practice, which recently hired Hannah Field-Lowes, previously co-head of disputes at Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP, has a long history of representing clients on their highest-value, cross-border disputes. It defended the Oi Group, one of Brazil’s leading telecoms operators, against multiple bondholder claims, co-ordinated by a New York-based vulture fund; this has involved litigation in the Netherlands, Brazil, the US, UK, and the Cayman Islands. John Reynolds is London commercial litigation head; Charles Balmain is EMEA commercial litigation and white-collar section head; Mark Clarke is 'a class act'; and Rory Hishon 'goes above and beyond in both his work ethic and commitment'. Amanda Cowell was made partner and Paddy Patrick was promoted to counsel.

'An excellent firm for all international commercial work', Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's London team 'provides a top-drawer service'. It specialises in conducting high-value complex cross-border disputes, particularly regarding finance and energy-related litigation, and has significant Russia and CIS expertise. Examples of hotly fought Russia-related litigation include the team's representation of Tatneft in $380m English litigation proceedings against four Ukrainian oligarchs, which concern a huge, complex alleged oil theft and cross-border fraud. Mark Dawkins heads the team, which includes Justin Williams, who is 'a highly experienced and knowledgeable litigator who is adept at managing difficult cases'; and Kambiz Larizadeh, who is 'very hands-on, and good with the detail'. Richard Hornshaw is also highly rated as are counsels Jenny Arlington and the 'very impressive' Fred Thorling.

Standing out for its global footprint, Baker McKenzie regularly acts in complex, multi-jurisdictional disputes and has particular expertise in fraud, administrative and public law, and competition litigation. The team's 'service is excellent, with fast turnarounds and succinct and practical advice'. Recent matters include representing Dubai Islamic Bank PJSC in proceedings to recover approximately $500m stolen from it in a complex receivables financing fraud. John Leadley heads up the global dispute resolution practice group; and Hugh Lyons, whose 'work is always reliable' regularly advises clients on litigation and investigations arising from financing transactions, restructuring and insolvency, fraud, and financial misconduct. Other principal advisers include Charles Thomson, Steve Abraham and of counsel Nadia Banno.

Bird & Bird LLP acts in large, highly complex disputes across a full range of sectors, including financial services, energy and technology, and communications. Jeremy Sharman and Sophie Eyre co-head the UK dispute resolution group. The team represented Property Alliance Group (PAG) in its claims against RBS, which included mis-selling of interest rate swaps; RBS' unlawful mistreatment of PAG while it was within RBS' discredited global restructuring group; and RBS' unlawful manipulation of LIBOR. The case assessed the duties owed by banks and financial institutions when marketing and entering into derivatives with their customers. Bryony Hurst was made partner, while Ludovic de Walden  left for Charles Russell Speechlys LLP.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP recruited  James Norris-Jones from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP; he advises on banking, contractual, shareholder and joint venture disputes, claims for breach of directors’ duties, and cases involving fraud and insolvency. The practice, which 'provides high levels of service, professionalism and preparation', regularly assists governments, corporations, financial institutions and individuals in cases that frequently involve complex legal issues and cross-border co-ordination of litigation involving securities, derivatives, M&A and antitrust issues along with bankruptcy, white-collar crime and general commercial matters. In a highly politically-charged and sensitive matter, the team was counsel to the Russian Federation with respect to pursuing repayment of a $3bn Eurobond issued by Ukraine. Jonathan Kelly is 'very strategic but also realistic and practical'. Sunil Gadhia and Christopher Moore are also highly rated.

The 'amazingly good' specialist disputes practice Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP was recently active in substantial commercial litigation, involving commercial contracts, shareholder conflicts, disputes over arbitration awards, civil fraud cases, and matters involving banks. The team acted for OFSB in High Court Chancery Division proceedings regarding its shareholding in Zavarco. Philip Young is 'always thinking of new angles'; and Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP 'motivates the troops with a combination of hard work and good humour'. Other recommended advisers are Marc Keidan and Stephen Elam, while Daniel Burbeary and Lydia Danon were made partners. Gerald Cooke retired as senior partner but remains a consultant with the firm.

DAC Beachcroft LLP's 'team is outstanding in all respects'. The firm's disputes work frequently involve international dimensions; and the group is particularly known for disputes and regulatory work in the banking and financial services sector; accountants' regulatory investigations and professional liability; IT and IP-related disputes; defamation; and health sector-related litigation. It represented Delta Capital International as second defendant, and one of its directors as fourth defendant, in defending a claim that arose from a disputed sale of shares in one of the key players in Bulgaria's telecoms industry. Department head John Bramhall is 'especially good at negotiation with other parties'; Richard Highley, Ken Forsyth, Jonathan Brogden, Campbell Dye and Rachel Cropper-Mawer are also key advisers; and Laura Berry is 'extremely empathetic at helping clients through major pieces of litigation'. Matthew Wescott joined Carter-Ruck.

Dechert LLP's 'extremely good team provides sharp response times, has very strong business acumen, gives appropriate advice and has strong bench strength'. The London office specialises in high-profile, high-value international litigation, with particular experience in sectors such as financial services, manufacturing and retail, and minerals and mining, as well as media and publishing, real estate and telecoms. It acted for the joint liquidators of Webinvest in two related multi-party actions in the Chancery Division, which sought to unwind a series of complex fraudulent transactions. Andrew Hearn is 'sharp and steady and delivers extremely reliable advice'; and Stephen Surgeoner 'offers pragmatic, focused advice'. Bernard Caulfield and Adam Silver are also highly regarded, and Julie Witham is a key senior associate.

With almost all of its work involving international dimensions, Farrer & Co's 'great corporate and commercial litigation practice' has a particular emphasis on cases involving complex company structures and asset holdings, shareholder disputes and cross-border commercial contracts. The practice acted for RP Explorer Master Fund in the Commercial Court in its $80m claim against multiple defendants, which arose out of its investments on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. Adrian Parkhouse heads the team, which includes Kate Allass, Jeremy Gordon, Toby Graham, Ben Longworth and Charlotte Fraser . The key senior associates are Ben Longworth and Jolyon Connell. John Wilkinson joined from Stephenson Harwood.

King & Spalding LLP 'offers qualified legal services and its lawyers are very easy to work with'. The practice handles a large volume of complex work for household-name, commercial litigation clients. It successfully represented the defendant (Alexander Chistyakov) in high-profile fraud claims in the Commercial Court, which alleged misuse of funds paid to the defendant.  Nicholas Cherryman 'can deal with any sort of legal issue'; and the team boasts four silks in Thomas Sprange QC, John Savage QC,  Stuart Isaacs QC and Gareth Rees QC, the latter joining from the Financial Reporting Council, where he was the executive director of enforcement. Other key contacts include Sarah Walker, Egishe Dzhazoyan, Ruth Byrne and counsel Glyn Rees. Aaron Stephens  joined the special matters and government investigations practice in 2018 from Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 'practice is dedicated, responsive, effective and knowledgeable'. The litigation team regularly represents multinational corporations and private equity funds in English High Court litigation in high-value, complex claims and bet-the-company litigation. In a case of wide interest to investors in financial institutions across Europe, it acted for a substantial group of shareholders, who lost hundreds of millions of Euros as a result of a 2017 decision made by  the Single Resolution Board, which effectively wrote down the investments of shareholders and certain classes of bondholders to zero. Team head Chris Colbridge is 'an impressive tactician and strategist'; Rajinder Bassi 'gets the job done effectively with a no-nonsense approach'; Chiraag Shah is 'sharp, organised and committed'; and the 'exceptionally bright' Richard Boynton is 'an absolutely outstanding partner and tactician'. Philipp Kurek and Jonathan Newman were made partners.

Osborne Clarke LLP's 'excellent team' is well known for disputes in the firm's core sectors of technology and digital business, energy and natural resources, and financial services; and the team specialises in disputes work for CIS clients. The team acted for BB Energy (Gulf) in in English Commercial Court claims against the former directors of Societe Anonyme Marocaine de L'Industrie Du Raffinage (In Liquidation), which relate to oil trading contract debts worth over £100m. Adrian Lifely leads the disputes practice in London; Tom Ellis is head of the UK corporate and commercial disputes team; and Andrew Bartlett is 'able to form and implement effective strategies in complex cases'. Other highly rated individuals include Rachel Couter and Ashley Hurst, while construction disputes partner Rob Horne joined from Simmons & Simmons and Nick Price is a notable associate director. Matthew Heywood joined Clyde & Co LLP.

Shearman & Sterling LLP  'provides an excellent service and offers an innovative approach to complex problems'. The team frequently advise clients on the strategic management of non-UK litigation or contentious situations; it acted for Viorel Micula in relation to ICSID arbitration enforcement proceedings in the English High Court, New York and other jurisdictions worldwide. The complex matter involved numerous novel points of law, including the question of whether Parliament, by passing the European Communities Act 1972, intended to confer primacy on EU law over the UK’s prior existing, pre-accession, international treaty obligations. Head of the London litigation team Jo Rickard 'takes a holistic approach to problems and is an excellent lawyer'. Susanna Charlwood is also highly rated.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's 'incredibly impressive, first-class commercial litigation team' is particularly noted for shareholder disputes, Russia, CEE, and offshore-related litigation, and disputes in regulated industries, such as energy and telecoms. In other areas, it represented a world-renowned industrial design company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute regarding commission arrangements and recovery of art works. The 'incredibly focused' David Kavanagh QC, 'who consistently delivers', and Karyl Nairn QC, who is 'one of the most distinguished figures on the London legal landscape', co-head the global international litigation and arbitration practice; David Edwards 'operates at the very top of the market'; and Bruce Macaulay 'keeps his head when all about him are losing theirs'. David Herlihy and Daniel Gal are also highly rated and Jonathon Egerton-Peters is a key counsel.

Taylor Wessing LLP 'provides an excellent service, including high levels of attention to detail and good response times'. The practice assists with a broad range of commercial and corporate disputes for professional services firms, financial institutions, technology-rich companies and those in the energy and mining sectors; it is also noted for insolvency litigation, fraud-related matters, and hotel and hospitality disputes. It acted for Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 in relation to a significant dispute arising from its historical investment in GO Science (now in liquidation); the case raised interesting legal issues about the breadth and scope of economic torts. Shane Gleghorn specialises in dispute resolution and investigations in the banking and finance sector; and Andrew Howell heads the disputes and investigations team in London. Other key contacts include Julian Randall, David De Ferrars, Tim Strong and Laurence Lieberman, while Katie Chandler is a notable senior counsel.

Boodle Hatfield LLP's 'excellent, smart, hardworking team provides quick response times and thorough research of legal problems'. Others report that the firm 'does a surprising amount of international work and draws on good ties with lawyers around the globe'. The practice advises on substantial and complex commercial disputes; and stands out for its arts law disputes expertise, including disputes relating to art finance. The 'calm and unflappable' litigation head Simon Fitzpatrick is 'cool headed, tactical and a good listener'; Tim Maxwell is focused on commercial and luxury asset litigation; and the 'very sharp and on the ball' senior associate Rebecca Foden is 'strong tactically and a strong advocate for clients'. Thomas Williams left the firm.

Bristows LLP 'stands out as a client-focused firm that goes the extra mile to understand its clients' commercial needs'. The practice is known for complex IT disputes and commercial claims involving confidentiality and contracts for the licensing and exploitation of IP.  It is also increasingly active in disputes work for financial services businesses.   Mark Brown is team head while Anna Cook 'tailors advice and strategic suggestions to clients' requirements'. Kevin Appleton, Jeremy Blum, Angela Fouracre and Simon Clark are also names to note.

Brown Rudnick LLP's 'solid, unflappable practice has wonderful international reach and deep inter-disciplinary resources to back the front-line litigation team'. It is experienced in commercial litigation and arbitration as well as criminal and regulatory investigations. It successfully acted for VR Global Partners, a Cayman-based investment fund and claimant in a tripartite dispute with Exotix Partners and CVI EMCVF Lux Securities Trading; the dispute arose out of a back-to-back trade of Ukrainian debt. Neil Micklethwaite is head of international disputes Europe; Jane Colston is 'everybody’s favourite litigator owing to her genuine care and loyalty, whilst in action she is fierce, super-efficient, indefatigable and a winner'; and Neill Shrimpton has extensive experience of litigating in offshore jurisdictions such as the BVI, Cyprus and Dubai. Other key names include Christian Toms, Chloe Pawson-Pounds, Ravinder Thukral and recently promoted Olga Bischof.

Cooley (UK) LLP's 'very approachable, timely team offers practical advice and costs are reasonable'. Its diverse practice covers asset recovery and claims arising from corruption, general commercial disputes, insolvency, insurance and investment treaty disputes as well as IP and life sciences litigation, product liability and technology disputes. Kevin Perry acted for Bambino Holdings in the defence of proceedings brought by US company, Bluewaters Communications Holdings, which relates to the sale of shares in Formula 1 racing in 2005. James Maton heads the firm's UK disputes practice; Laurence Harris is vice chair of the firm's global litigation department; and Mark Deem 'brings his considerable experience into play with quick and insightful analysis'. Product litigation lawyer Rod Freeman   joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP  and investment treaty special counsel Christophe Bondy was hired from Volterra Fietta.

Dentons recently merged with Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens, the London disputes team gaining Craig Neilson and Simon Colledge as a result. The 'outstanding practice' advises on the full suite of contentious matters, ranging from competition issues to banking, real estate and employment disputes; and it was particularly active in commercial arrangement disputes emanating from UK-listed companies; cross-border shareholder disputes; and internal management issues concerning directors' rights and duties. It defended RBS against Property Alliance Group's landmark LIBOR case, which was the first LIBOR-related civil claim against any bank to go to trial in England and Wales. Liz Tout is dispute resolution head; Daren Allen leads on financial and commercial disputes and investigations; and Adrian Giles is 'a trusted litigation solicitor'. Other recommended names are Felicity Ewing, Thomas Leyland and Akin Akinbode.

'A firm to be trusted for commercial litigation', Edwin Coe LLP 'has a hands-on litigation department that goes beyond what would normally be expected of litigators to achieve the best results for clients'. It acts in a wide range of high-profile work, including defamation, disciplinary work, fraud, contentious IP, competition, and property disputes. It represented a group of claimants in relation to the construction of a finance scheme. The 'practical and realistic' David Greene, who has a well-known class action practice, 'gives the best strategic and tactical advice and goes above and beyond the call of duty to support clients to great effect'; Nick Neocleous is 'an experienced, commercial litigator, who is always available and gives sound advice'; and Ali Zaidi is restructuring and insolvency head. Dominic de Bono and Zahira Hussain are key senior associates.

Fieldfisher's 'various litigation teams work particularly well together as do the different offices'. The practice is well known for high-value finance disputes; was recently active in post-M&A and corporate disputes; and has experienced continuing growth of its CIS-related work. The team acted for one of the four main defendants in relation to a claim for over $368m-worth of oil payments, brought by oil giant PJSC Tatneft. Colin Gibson is dispute resolution head; Simon Moore is a CIS and corporate dispute expert; and Tony Lewis heads the fraud team. Other key contacts include Kit Jarvis, Alexandra Underwood, Vivien Davies, Rhys Griffiths, Andrew Lafferty and Jonathan Ray-Smith; while Aymen Khoury and road transport law expert Andrew Sanderson were made partners, and Stewart Perry joined to strengthen the insolvency and restructuring team from Clyde & Co LLP.

Fladgate LLP's 'excellent firm is¬†frequently involved in major litigation'. The practice specialises in acting in complex, high-value disputes, which are internationally focused or sourced; and being¬†largely conflict free, the department is able to sue most banks and act in financial services litigation. It acted for¬†Castex Technologies in proceedings in the Commercial Court, brought by various hedge funds, which alleged rigging of stock prices in connection with the conversion of foreign currency convertible bonds.¬†Simon Ekins¬†is department head; the 'switched-on and easy-to-work-with' Steven Mash¬†is 'at home across the range of commercial disputes'; and¬†Bree Taylor¬†is 'professional and shows broad-based thinking'.¬†Mark Buckley,¬†Alexander Wildsch√ľtz¬†and¬†Eugene Matveichuk¬†are also highly rated.

The 'professional, reliable and responsive' Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP is 'a great practice to work with, due to its legal expertise, dedication and availability, and it spends time understanding the details of a case'. The firm's London-based international disputes practice includes litigation, fraud and white-collar crime, international arbitration and regulatory matters; and it is well known for freezing injunction cases within the UK market. It represented Sberbank in a successful challenge against an application made to the High Court by the International Bank of Azerbaijan (the IBA), pursuant to which the IBA sought an order for a permanent moratorium against creditor action in England and Wales. James Kitching is 'a first-rate litigator and very good at strategically driving a case forward', and Justin Michaelson is also highly rated. The senior associates to note are Leigh Mallon, who 'efficiently manages large, complex cross-border cases', the 'excellent future star' Shivani Sanghi, and Duncan Saunders.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP grew the team through the recruitment of Sacha Harber-Kelly MBE from the Serious Fraud Office and international arbitration specialist Jeffrey Sullivan, who was recruited from Allen & Overy LLP. The practice is noted for high-value complex commercial litigation, including multi-jurisdictional disputes and regulatory investigations as well as disputes involving EU law and privacy law issues. It continued to act as global counsel to UBS and its subsidiaries in relation to potential and current litigation arising from the Madoff fraud. Philip Rocher is department head; and Charles Falconer QC is a former UK Lord Chancellor. Allan Neil, Osma Hudda, Patrick Doris and Doug Watson are also highly regarded advisers.

In addition to a varied commercial disputes practice, Gowling WLG has particular strengths in fraud and asset tracing, contentious insolvency, banking litigation and trusts litigation. It is 'absolutely outstanding; its lawyers have great judgment and know cases inside out'. High-profile work included the team's advice to Jaiprakash Associates on an action brought by Formula One World Championship; the matter relates to contracts entered into by the parties and their affiliates regarding the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. James Sidwell is commercial litigation head; chairman Andrew Witts is 'an accomplished, international litigator'; Alex Jay is 'highly reliable'; and Andrew Smith, who is 'razor-sharp and excellent for making difficult calls', splits his time between London and Birmingham. Catherine Naylor  is a key director.

HFW has a longstanding reputation for its disputes experience the energy, mining and transport sectors. The team is also noted for litigation involving the utilities, commodities, manufacturing, engineering and financial services industries as well as international trade disputes. The recommended advisers include Damian Honey  Simon Blows, Noel Campbell, Steven Paull, Costas Frangeskides and Alistair Feeney. Paul Wordley joined EC3 Legal LLP.

The 'forward-thinking, efficient' Howard Kennedy LLP 'provides an excellent levels of service'. It advises on contractual disputes, professional negligence actions, complex international litigation and arbitration, and contentious insolvency; the practice is also experienced in director and shareholder disputes and civil fraud. It obtained a series of injunctions for a payment and foreign exchange services firm, whose banking services were suspended following alleged money laundering and fraudulent activity by a number of its customers. Commercial litigation head Louise Bennett 'gets to grips with complex financial issues to see the bigger picture'; dispute resolution head Simon Taylor is 'an excellent strategist and superb negotiator'; Tim Bignell 'cuts through detail to commercial issues and practical solutions'; and Fiona Hinds is 'an excellent, pragmatic commercial lawyer'. Other key litigators include managing partner Craig Emden, Steven Morris, Joel Leigh and Mark Stephens CBE; while senior associate Ayesha Salim is 'always in command of the details'.

The 'excellent' K&L Gates LLP is 'top class'. The London disputes team is experienced in contested takeovers; corporate transactional and minority shareholder disputes; joint venture breakdowns, particularly arising from cross-border investments; matters involving private equity firms, hedge funds and high-net-worth individuals; and fintech, financial services, media and sport-related disputes. It acted for the claimants in High Court actions and related applications against bookmakers and betting industry stakeholders, which involved claims for database right and copyright infringement, breach of confidence and unlawful means conspiracy. John Magnin is practice area leader, and Anne McCarthy and Clarissa Coleman are also key practitioners. In 2018, an energy disputes team, comprising Jeremy Farr, Charles Lockwood and Clare Kempkens joined from Ince & Co, while John Gilbert left for Bracewell (UK) LLP.

Kingsley Napley LLP's 'user-friendly, capable practice' is best known for acting for entrepreneurs and successful individuals in business, but increasingly the team acts for corporate clients in major litigation. The team defended Glasgow's Rangers Football Club in long-running litigation with Sports Direct and its owner Mike Ashley (and other Sports Direct companies); the dispute involved allegations of breaches of confidential information. Richard Foss  is department head; Ryan Mowat is 'one of the best all-round litigators currently in practice'; William Christopher is 'sensible, clever and responsive'; and Gerard Cukier 'instils great confidence'. Fiona Simpson and Sue Thackeray are also highly rated. Mary Young is a key senior associate and associate Kate Salter  is 'a star of the future'.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP 'maximises clients' chances of winning'. The practice has particular strength in commercial litigation across key industry sectors such as financial services, energy, and space and transportation. In one of the largest series of commercial cases in the High Court in recent years, the team defended Visa and Visa International Service Association against proceedings where they - and Visa Europe and associated companies - were sued for alleged infringements of English, Irish and European competition law regarding the setting and implementation of multilateral interchange fees. Julian Stait 'has excellent commercial and legal judgment'; Tom Canning is also highly rated; and senior associate William Charles is 'meticulous in understanding the detail'.

Mishcon de Reya LLP is widely respected for its expertise in fraud-related disputes but it also has robust practices in commercial and finance-related litigation, including shareholder disputes, and insurance, IP and property disputes. The firm recently launched an eDiscovery offering. Kasra Nouroozi heads the dispute resolution department; Masoud Zabeti leads the finance and banking disputes group; and Kathryn Garbett heads the fraud defence group. Other recommended advisers include Richard Leedham, Gary Miller, Shaistah Akhtar and Sonia Campbell.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is 'a good alternative to other big US firms; it is able to handle delicate and sensitive matters in a professional way'. The London team has particular expertise in sectors such as energy, insurance, and financial services; it acted for Manning & Napier in a headline claim under Section 90A Financial Services & Markets Act,  regarding admitted misleading accounting information published by Tesco. Nicholas Greenwood is 'responsive, knowledgeable and honest'; Peter Sharp has 'a stellar intellect and great strategic acumen'; David Waldron is 'an excellent all-round performer'; and associate Paul Mesquitta is 'a first-rate lawyer'. Chris Warren-Smith, who assumed a global leadership role in the firm’s international white-collar, corporate investigations and sanctions practice, and Melanie Ryan  were hired from Norton Rose Fulbright , while former partner Kevin Robinson joined Howard Kennedy LLP.

'Particularly good at commercial litigation', Morrison & Foerster LLP 'has a very strong and skilful team that obtains effective results'. It sets itself apart for its ability to handle complex, international disputes and investigations out of London, often with technology, finance, insolvency or antitrust components. The practice continued to act for the insolvency practitioners in connection with the highly complex $9.2bn liquidation of Saad Investments Company; the case raised several jurisdictional issues and is potentially of great significance to the global trusts industry. Jonathan Wheeler is 'a standout practitioner'; and Kevin Roberts  is 'always on top of things and ensures best assistance for clients and great co-ordination of the team for complex and sensitive cases'. Gemma Anderson is also highly rated.

Payne Hicks Beach is 'a fine niche firm carrying out high-profile litigation'. Its disputes work includes the finance, automobile media and hotels sectors. Other areas of strength include professional negligence, breach of warranty claims, property loan instrument disputes, defamation, judicial review and civil fraud. The practice acted for Valhalla in a claim against Coutts & Co, which related to the mis-sale of an interest rate hedging product. The recommended names are dispute resolution head Stephen King, Richard Manyon and Dominic Crossley; and senior associate Ane Vernon is 'a meticulous lawyer who will really fight her client’s corner'. Defamation, privacy and breach of confidence specialist Hanna Basha recently joined from Hill Dickinson LLP.

PCB Litigation LLP is 'a solid niche player for commercial litigation as well as its best-known area of civil fraud'. It acted for TPG Capital in a case about whether the taking of funds out of a company (Hellas II) can subsequently be challenged; the matter also recently involved the team leading on a successful application for security for costs against litigation funders. Anthony Riem 'inspires confidence through his down-to-earth interaction with clients, extensive commercial law knowledge, experience of court procedures and clarity of advice'; Trevor Mascarenhas is 'a first-class lawyer and tactician'; and Steven Philippsohn is 'a vastly experienced litigator'.

Squire Patton Boggs' 'responsive and efficient practice' fields lawyers with strengths in complex, high-value litigation involving commercial, contractual and financial disputes and regulatory investigations; contentious sports and entertainment matters; shipping and construction sector disputes; and international arbitration, particularly energy disputes. Laurence Winston is UK litigation head; Gareth Timms, Robert Weekes  and Chris Webber are also highly regarded; and Nicola Phillips and Tim Lowles were made directors.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP has significant disputes experience in the areas of finance, shipping, energy, natural resources, transport, construction and  real estate. International, financial disputes work included the practice acting for Lehman Brothers in High Court litigation concerning complex, high-value claims under the ISDA Master Agreement. Andrew Savage heads the team; Andrew Hutcheon specialises in litigation in the offshore oil and gas, energy, natural resources and shipping sectors; Andrew Ward's practice covers finance, joint ventures, fraud, contracts and insolvency; Dev Desai specialises in real estate litigation; and Charles Buss is known for maritime litigation. Other key contacts include Robert Platt, Rob Fidoe and recently promoted Rebecca Williams. Thomas Ross  joined from Ropes & Gray LLP.

Winston & Strawn London LLP is highly regarded for multi-jurisdictional disputes and the team has specific expertise in banking, finance and securities litigation, particularly actions surrounding both the LIBOR and insurance mis-selling scandals. Examples of multifaceted, cross-border contentious matters include the team representing Shebah Exploration and Production Company in a Commercial Court dispute with a syndicate of Egyptian and Nigerian banks, which arose from a £150m facility agreement. Michael Madden leads the firm’s commercial litigation team in London; Justin McClelland's practice includes general commercial and financial disputes, cross-jurisdictional litigation, multi-party actions, appellate proceedings, and follow-on actions arising from regulatory investigations. Daniel Meagher is a key associate.

Arnold & Porter hired Jane Wessel, who is focused on antitrust litigation and international commercial and investor state arbitration from Shepherd and Wedderburn. The practice acts in issues arising out of joint ventures, private equity and partnership structures as well as pharmaceutical and life sciences sector-related corporate and commercial disputes. Hilton Mervis heads the commercial dispute resolution group for Europe.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP is 'very strategic in its outlook and totally committed to achieving the best outcome'. The team regularly works alongside litigators across the firm's US offices and its recent work included representing creditors in multiple shareholder disputes and advising investors on oil and gas litigation. Examples included acting for M&G Investment Management in a case that raised important issues as to the construction of English law pre-emption rights and permissible shareholder conduct. Natasha Harrison is 'in the top drawer of litigators in the City'; Fiona Huntriss and counsel Nathalie Allen Prince are also highly regarded.

Charles Russell Speechlys LLP merged with sports law boutique Couchmans in 2018. Recent cases for the practice include disputes in the technology, telecoms, financial services and mining sectors, as well as energy, aviation, retail and sporting regulatory matters. It acted for Cyclone Promotions in its claim against a professional boxer for breach of a promotional contract. Stewart Hey heads the firm's commercial dispute resolution department; John Sykes  is well known for shareholder litigation; and Edward Craig heads the firm's retail and leisure sector group, but his broader commercial contentious practice includes advising sports regulatory bodies.

In addition to a standalone practice for banking disputes, Collyer Bristow LLP's 'technically excellent and good value-for-money commercial disputes team' has experience of business and high-net-worth disputes; high-value contractual matters and tort claims; professional negligence; and civil fraud. Other areas of strength include trusts claims, contentious insolvency and cross-border claims. Stephen Rosen led advice to Equatorial Congo Airlines (ECA) in a dispute with PrivatAir, a Swiss company that formerly operated ECA's fleet of aircraft; the dispute included seizure of a number of ECA's aircraft in Brussels for alleged breaches of contract and disputes over maintenance contracts, costs of repairs and other operating expenses. Jeff Roberts is 'responsive, effective and a pleasure to work with'; and Richard Viegas was recently appointed head of commercial disputes. Janine Alexander and media and privacy department head Steven Heffer are also highly regarded.

Dorsey & Whitney's 'strong team performs well, provides solid advice and has great strength in depth'. The practice is well known for complex international cases and the London team regularly works alongside firm colleagues in the firm's US and international offices; it has also developed a recognised expertise in eDiscovery. In a widely reported case, the team acted for Watchstone Group, as defendant, in a high-profile warranty and fraudulent misrepresentation claim, which arose from a share purchase agreement for the sale of Quindell's professional services division to an Australian law firm. Tim Maloney heads the firm's London office and London trial team. Matthew Blower was promoted to partner.

Forsters LLP 'has an excellent reputation for all aspects of commercial litigation'. The dispute resolution team advises both businesses and high-net-worth individuals on commercial, corporate and private client matters and frequently acts in property and construction-related disputes. Emily Exton is dispute resolution head; Benedict Walton  'combines good instincts with an easy client manner'; Andrew Head's disputes work includes  professional indemnity, land issues, civil fraud, tax investigations and group actions arising out of financial mis-selling; and Christopher Bacon is 'a thoughtful, meticulous solicitor'.

Fox Williams LLP is 'excellent in all respects, namely its knowledge of the law, acumen and creativity'. The practice's areas of disputes expertise include civil fraud, financial services regulatory matters, employment law, investment banking, partnership issues, and policy holder-related insurance matters. It defended Hertz Europe against a Commercial Court repudiatory breach of contract claim brought by Ryanair. Gavin Foggo heads the litigation and dispute resolution department; and Peter Ashford is 'bright, involved and always available'. Tom Custance, David Butler and Chris Finney are also key advisers.

Harbottle & Lewis LLP 'provides an excellent commercial litigation service; its partners and associates have real litigation experience and the full confidence of their clients'. The commercial litigation group represents clients across the firm's core technology, media and entertainment sectors; it also acts for clients operating in the retail and financial sectors, and high-net-worth clients from the firm’s private capital practice. The team acted for Universal Pictures Visual Programming in defending a claim brought against it by entities, which alleged breach of contract. Dispute resolution head Andy Millmore  'has an eye for strategy, pays close attention to detail and is very good at working out the strengths and weaknesses of cases'; Louis Castellani's 'approach combines tough-mindedness with excellent judgment'; and Sandi Simons is commercial litigation head. The key senior associates are 'rising star' Matt Leverton and Melanie Hart.

Ince & Co is widely known for its shipping law expertise but its dispute resolution experience also covers litigation involving the insurance, construction, aviation and energy sectors, as well as employment, fraud and insolvency issues. Ben Ogden is recommended for commercial disputes, predominantly connected to the acquisition of businesses, and contentious insurance work. Jeremy Biggs specialises in dispute resolution, with a particular focus on all aspects of shipping litigation, as well as international trade and general commercial disputes.

At Irwin Mitchell, Jonathan Sachs specialises in commercial litigation, professional negligence and fraud, and has conducted litigation in various jurisdictions around the world including the US, Eastern Europe, Middle East and Hong Kong. Recent highlights include acting for an international businessman in a fraud claim for £175m. Sarah Wallace is also highly rated; Wallace defends financial crime, fraud and regulatory investigations, with particular experience of defending large and complex criminal or regulatory investigations or prosecutions.

Jenner & Block LLP's 'service is first rate, with top-quality advice and output from knowledgeable lawyers'.  The practice predominantly advises on disputes with cross-border or international elements; has particular experience acting for clients in challenging jurisdictions, such as Russia, Turkey, Ukraine, Africa and Romania; and has significant financial services and energy sector experience. It advised the liquidators of Singularis Holdings in a claim against Daiwa Capital Markets Europe (DCME), alleging negligence and dishonest assistance in connection with payments made by DCME to third parties. Jason Yardley 'provides excellent strategic thinking and excellent knowledge of the detail'. Christian Tuddenham is also highly regarded and James Woolrich was made partner. Elizabeth Shimmin is a special counsel to note.

Keystone Law's 'first-rate team is excellent in all respects'. In a fraud and negligence claim, it acted for Nest Investments (Holding), a shareholder in a Lebanese bank that was shut down by the US Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, in pursuing litigation against prominent Lebanese public figures, as well as a fraud and negligence claim against auditor Deloitte & Touche. Alex Ferrari's 'style combines extensive investigation of the issues with a determined, hard approach'; and Robert Lawrie 'has good tactical awareness and efficient management of clients and cases'. Matthew Reach, Patrick Pennal and Nilam Sharma are also key names.

Lewis Silkin LLP 'represents superb value for money, communicates complex legal issues in a way that non-legal people can understand, and is prepared to offer genuine advice and not just tell clients the law'. The disputes team comprises specialists who handle IP, corporate, employment, and partnership and LLP disputes. It acted for three limited companies and three individuals in relation to allegations of breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty, which arose from a management buy-out. Simon Chapman is team head; Clive Greenwood and Philip Foster are 'both superb litigators who offer forthright commercially-aware advice and are conscious of costs'; and Mark Lim is 'calm, confident and unflappable and a number of major corporate clients turn to him without hesitation when litigation is on the horizon'. Andrew Wanambwa and consultant Tom Coates are also highly rated; and senior associate Fraser McKeating  is 'one to watch'.

Known for handling complex, big-ticket, commercial litigation, McGuireWoods London LLP 'provides a good service and clear advice'. In one of the Commercial Court's largest cases, the team acted for Vincent Tchenguiz and his interests in the extremely high-profile £2.2bn claim against Grant Thornton and Icelandic bank Kaupthing, which arose out of the collapse of Kaupthing and subsequent SFO investigation. Hardeep Nahal  is a widely respected City litigator, Michael Tackley has a special interest in cross-border issues, and William Boddy was made partner.

Memery Crystal LLP is 'an excellent mid-sized firm that provides extremely practical and commercial advice and is excellent in a fight'. It is particularly noted for disputes involving the financial services and natural resource sectors as well as fraud, shareholder issues and breach of directors' duties. The team acted for an independent commodities broker and trader, as first defendant, in a nickel sale contract claim for over $32m damages for breach of delivery and title obligations. Dispute resolution head Mark Whelan is 'an extremely active and able lawyer'; Harvey Rands is 'a very well-known, respected litigator'; and the recently promoted Iain MacWhannell is 'well thought of'. Jane Marsden is also highly regarded.

Michelmores LLP 'has the ability and quality of a firm of much greater scale'. The practice has a particularly strong reputation for Chancery and Companies Court matters, and it is increasingly receiving more international instructions. The team acted for RGL Management in group action proceedings against Clydesdale Bank and National Australia Bank, regarding mis-sold tailored business loans. Peter Sigler 'has a great track record'; Garbhan Shanks 'always gives practical advice and is excellent with clients'; and recently promoted senior associate Harriet Chopra 'quickly distills the key points no matter how complex the case'.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP 'has first-class litigators, blending detailed legal analysis and strategic advice with commercial acumen and a very approachable style of working'. The team's caseload includes disputes involving contracts, corporate partnerships, financial services, executive liability and negligence, and trade mark infringements; it also has specific expertise in representing accounting firms. The practice represented the chairman and majority shareholder of the Edwardian Hotels Group in opposing an unfair prejudice petition brought by the minority shareholding. Matthew Lawson is 'a great lawyer and litigation strategist'; and Simon Willis 'really gets stuck into a case'. Maria Frangeskides is also a key contact.

Penningtons Manches LLP's 'level of service is outstanding and the team understands clients' commercial concerns'. Its commercial litigation work covers international litigation; group actions; banking and finance disputes; and defamation and reputation management. Other areas of strength are cyber crime, IP and IT disputes, product liability, regulatory matters and high-net-worth disputes.Commercial dispute resolution group Rustam Dubash is India group head, John Doherty's 'advice is a luxury for clients' and Richard Marshall is international litigation and arbitration head. Also recommended are Alex Fox, Jeremy Clarke-Williams, Noel McMichael, David Niven and Philip D’Costa. Dan Hyde joined from Howard Kennedy LLP.

In addition to the 'punchy and practical' Peters & Peters Solicitors LLP's fraud focus 'an increasingly important part of the practice is commercial litigation and it provides lots of partner attention'. The practice features claims involving shareholders, contracts, insolvency proceedings, contentious financial services and regulatory matters, IP, and professional negligence. It acted for 122 Claimants in large-scale, high profile, group litigation concerning collective investment schemes, which focused on film and media investments. Keith Oliver is 'a paradigm commercial litigation dealmaker', Jonathan Tickner 'really cares for his clients', Sarah Gabriel is 'one of the smartest lawyers in London', and Jason Woodland is also highly regarded.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP fields 'top-level lawyers who are experienced at dealing with complex, high-value litigation'. The practice's key strengths are Middle Eastern-related work; heavyweight commercial disputes involving corporate, banking and insurance matters, together with a specific aviation and aerospace focus; and commercial disputes involving public sector bodies. Alex Burton represented an Italian pension fund in an appeal to the Court of Appeal, regarding a claim brought against it by Barclays Bank for breach of an exclusive jurisdiction clause; Lucy James heads the  national commercial litigation team; and Ned Beale is 'instrumental in steering litigation through procedural complexities'.

Although 'smaller than others doing large litigation', Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's London team 'handles big-ticket litigation and does it very well'. The team assists with financial institution and tax litigation, structured finance disputes, IP issues, energy-related claims, and contentious regulatory matters. Jamie Maples  is 'a strategic, excellent lawyer who is terrific at handling clients'; Mark Lawford is a restructuring and insolvency specialist; and associate Christopher Marks is 'an excellent lawyer and independent thinker'. The former co-head of disputes, Hannah Field-Lowes, joined White & Case LLP.

'Going above and beyond', Withers LLP's 'has a superb team'. It is well known for advising on matters involving the BVI, Russia and the CIS, Italy, Greece, Turkey and Cyprus; stands out for art, sport and fashion sector cases; and has a strong insolvency practice. The team represented a Russian businessman in his claim for the return of a debt, allegedly owed under a partnership agreement and supplementary agreements. Peter Wood is 'excellent at understanding instructions', and Roberto Moruzzi is Europe litigation and arbitration team head. The other names to note are Tatiana Menshenina, Christopher Coffin,  Stephen Ross and Andrew Wass; and special counsel Georgina Bayley is 'patient, highly organised and diligent'.

Blake Morgan LLP's particular dispute specialisms include finance, technology, IP, leisure and hospitality, gaming disputes, and civil fraud. It represented Marz against Bank of Scotland for mis-selling unsuitable interest rate hedging swap derivative products. Sarah Rees is team head and Justin Weare is also highly regarded.

Burges Salmon LLP is 'a very well regarded national firm attracting high- quality instructions'. The Bristol-based practice covers sector disputes involving transport, energy and natural resources, banking and financial services, agricultural and rural affairs, insurance and pensions, and IP. David Hall heads the dispute resolution unit and Kari McCormick is 'a very bright and highly energetic lawyer'.

'Strong both in strategy and tactics', Candey is 'a very competent firm'. The practice specialises primarily in high-value shareholder, securities and joint venture disputes. Ashkhan Candey and Andrew Dunn are the group heads; Yuri Botiuk, who joined from Grosvenor Law, is 'very sharp and capable of finding smart and practical solutions to complex issues'; and James Collins was hired from Dechert .

Cubism Law is best known for consumer-related matters, finance litigation including fraud or mis-handling, insurance-related disputes and tax litigation. Andrew Pena is department head; Duncan McNair has niche expertise in financial matters with a Cypriot element; Peter Mellett is known for consumer law disputes and property litigation; Anya Bloom is a tax disputes specialist; Cathy Hawkins  focuses on high-level insurance law disputes; and Anjan Patel’s practice spans both commercial litigation and professional negligence.

DaySparkes' 'offers highly effective partner-led non-conflicted litigation to individuals and corporates'. The team recently represented the defendant in major fraud and related freezing injunction proceedings that were brought by a prominent Bahraini businessman for the recovery of monies invested in a failed luxury London property development. John Day is 'highly experienced and utterly unflappable', and Michael Sparkes is 'very bright and capable'.

Druces LLP's 'litigators understand clients' needs and their advice is always spot-on'. The team's key areas are cross-border disputes; disputes involving shareholders, directors, partnerships, LLPs and joint ventures; professional negligence claims against professional service providers; and insolvency and banking disputes. Department head Julian Johnstone is 'intuitive, gets straight to the point and has first-class judgment'; and Charles Spragge  is 'smart, quick and has great analytical skills'. The firm merged with London-based  Ronaldsons, adding commercial litigator Neil Hayter to the group.

DWFM Beckman 'goes the extra mile for a successful conclusion'. The team’s expertise includes commercial contract and corporate disputes; insolvency and debt recovery; IP issues; property and trusts; and professional negligence. Other areas of strength include civil fraud, injunctions and asset tracing. Peter Bridson heads the team, Demetris Dionissiou is 'very tactically aware', Sharokh Koussari 'achieves the required results'; and Claire Lyon is 'approachable and helpful'. Other key contacts include Elizabeth Johnson, Naylah Hamour and Colin Jaque.

Freeths LLP's practice covers corporate and M&A litigation; commercial disputes; fraud, breach of confidence and data theft; and insolvency. Recent work included acting for Eddie Stobart, one of the UK’s largest logistics companies, in a claim arising from an alleged breach of contract for the supply of agency drivers. Philippa Dempster is highly rated.

At Goodman Derrick LLP,  Clive Ince's practice spans commercial, company, media and professional disputes; Nigel Adams is known for media, including defamation, disputes and matters involving high-value classic cars; and Tim Langton led advice to the claimant, who was the victim of a sophisticated fraud, in claiming damages.

Hamlins LLP is 'very well organised and attentive to client needs; and the team provides good advice on the strength of legal positions'. The practice's disputes involve large, complex contractual and tortious claims; breach of fiduciary duties and civil fraud; IP and IT issues; defamation; and partnership and shareholder disputes. Other areas include property, construction and engineering litigation, insurance and finance, and professional negligence. 'Flexible in her approach and easy to work with', Amanda Burge 'makes sure that all details are nailed down'; Antony Perlmutter  is also a key contact.

Hausfeld’s 'commercial litigation team is growing in size and reputation'. In addition to its specialist competition litigation work, the practice acts in high-profile commercial and financial services disputes on behalf of claimants. The team advised Go Science's liquidators in claims against Shell Technology Ventures Fund 1 and three Royal Dutch Shell subsidiaries; the allegations included breach of equitable duty of confidence, among others. Anthony Maton is London office managing partner; John McElroy is 'fantastic with clients'; and Lianne Craig  is 'experienced in assembling claimaint groups'.

The 'responsive, decisive and authoritative' Humphries Kerstetter LLP was established in 2009 as a niche City litigation, arbitration and investigations practice. It acted for several groups of UK high street retailers, online merchants and local government in high-profile claims against Visa and MasterCard for the alleged overcharging of multilateral interchange fees. The recommended names are Mark Humphries, Kristopher Kerstetter, Christopher Braithwaite and James Russell.

iLaw is 'a first-class outfit that is a pleasure to work with'. Founded as a niche IT and IP City practice, it has evolved into a boutique law firm specialising in high-value, high-profile and complex commercial litigation disputes. It represented a group of claimants in a group action against MasterCard for alleged unlawful interchange fees. Mark Culbert is 'an extremely experienced commercial litigator who achieves the best results'; Tom Clark is another notable director.

Joelson's 'response times are extremely good and business acumen and industry knowledge are very impressive'. The practice's contentious expertise includes corporate and commercial disputes, professional negligence, shareholder issues, IP matters, insolvency, property claims, and contentious construction. Jo Gregory is 'a stellar partner with incredible client-handling skills'. Other experienced litigators include Niall McCann and Myles Levy.

Kennedys 'provides a superb level of service, and combines quality advice and an aggressive approach balanced against sensible commercial awareness'. Dino Paganuzzi led advice to the joint liquidators of companies that operated a currency exchange business, regarding an application to determine whether monies paid to the companies immediately before their insolvency were held on trust for the payors. Ben Aram  and consultant John Harvey are also key contacts.

Paul Hastings LLP is 'a go-to firm for hard-fought pieces of litigation, particularly involving multiple jurisdictions'. It is best known for disputes involving securitisation, particularly commercial mortgage-backed securities' transactions and other structured investment vehicles. Simon Airey was hired from DLA Piper; Ian McKim is a key senior associate; and associate Tom Nevin is 'excellent with clients and knows how to get the best out of counsel'.  Michelle Duncan left to join  Joseph Hage Aaronson LLP.

PwC LLP's 'team is very competent'. The multi-disciplinary practice acted for Beech Holdings in a proof of debt claim and a disputed company guarantee. Agnes Quashie heads the UK regulatory and commercial disputes practice; and Dipti Hunter is 'quick to identify and summarise issues in a way clients can understand'.

Ronald Fletcher Baker LLP is recommended for 'its ability to handle complex litigation and for being effective'. The practice acts in a large number of high -level international contractual and corporate disputes, often with multi-jurisdictional elements. Jonathan Roberts 'gives sensible, pragmatic advice'; and Rudi Ramdarshan 'brings extraordinary judgment to complex commercial issues'. Rebecca Roberts and David Burns were made equity partners.

Russell-Cooke LLP is 'very strong for a medium-sized firm'. The practice assists with contractual disputes; commercial fraud and asset tracing; and financial and financial services claims. It is also active in IP disputes, professional negligence, insurance, construction disputes and trust litigation. Commercial litigation team head Francesca Kaye  is 'utterly dependable and just a great lawyer'; John Gould is 'hugely wise and experienced'; Paolo Sidoli has substantial experience in contractual and corporate disputes; and insolvency team head Lee Ranford is insolvency team head. 

SCA ONTIER LLP's 'commitment to securing the best outcome is second to none'. Oliver Cain advised Brunswick Rail (BR), a Russian railcar lessor, on intended proceedings against an international investment bank. The dispute arose from bank's alleged misappropriation of confidential information. Seamus Andrew is managing partner, Paul Ferguson is also highly rated and senior associate Danielle Carr is 'very reassuring'.

Teacher Stern LLP's 'team is impressive, clear sighted and practical'. Its focus is on high-value contractual and shareholder actions; professional negligence and fraud and asset tracing claims; and mis-selling disputes against institutional defendants. Team head Jack Rabinowicz is 'a highly intuitive and determined lawyer who sees routes that don’t occur to others'; Navinder Grover is 'an outstanding commercial litigator'; Rajesh Pabla is 'a lone voice of reason in a crowded room'; and Clare Toomer is 'a very effective and efficient litigator'. Other key contacts include Rod Cowper and Philip Rubens.

Wallace LLP's 'team is hard-working, commercially minded and successful'. It represented a Panamanian company in its claims against twelve defendants for breach of fiduciary duty and knowing receipt of funds and other contractual benefits that were procured pursuant to the wrongful divestment of a real estate asset.  Simon Serota is litigation head; Alexander Weinberg  is 'outstanding on the law and client relationships but retains an excellent strategic overview'; and Oli Goldman 'balances great litigation skills with an empathy towards clients'. Craig Thompson  is also highly regarded.

Wedlake Bell LLP is 'very good, quick to respond and gives overall reasonable value for money'. The practice is focused on disputes involving professional negligence, commercial contracts, judicial review, procurement, IP, insolvency and trusts. It is also well known for property litigation and construction disputes. David Golten is 'very commercial and responsive'.

Bevan Brittan LLP 'has an excellent practice in the local authority and public sector field, including where that touches upon commercial litigation'. Its disputes work includes financial services, information and communication technology issues, public law challenges and breach of duty actions, along with defamation, breach of contract and fraud issues. Virginia Cooper 'has excellent client skills and good judgment'.

Bowling & Co 'provides excellent advice and represents excellent value for money'. In addition to its contentious property, IP, insurance, trusts and debt recovery work, the practice assists with company, partnership and shareholder disputes; financial product mis-selling; and insolvency cases, fraud and asset recovery. Peter Laskey is the key contact

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP is 'a rising presence due to its recruitment of the heavy-hitting Steven Baker', who  is 'a good choice for any large-scale litigation'. The practice is focused on high-value, complex commercial and financial disputes.

Carter Lemon Camerons is 'reactive and pragmatic and clearly experienced'. The team is best known for its disputes work in the financial services, property, IP and professional negligence sectors. Seamus Smyth 'has extensive litigation experience'; and Graham  Balchin 'has decades of experience'. Chris Corney is also a key name.

Carter-Ruck hired the 'analytically top-notch' Matthew Wescott , who is 'pragmatic and has very good client skills', from DAC Beachcroft LLP. The team handles claims involving breach of contract, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence, breach of confidence, and IP disputes. Adam Tudor  spearheads the commercial litigation practice; and Alasdair Pepper acts in financial mis-selling claims.

Charles Fussell & Co LLP is 'capable of managing litigation of a much larger size than might be expected given the size of the firm'. The practice acts predominantly for claimants in commercial disputes, fraud and professional negligence. Name partner Charles Fussell is 'a very shrewd lawyer, with a great tactical overview of litigation'. Simon Winter is 'a very good and experienced tactician'.

Devonshires Solicitors LLP's large following of housing providers are the firm's broad base of clients; the practice's typical disputes work includes fraud, cross-border investigations, regulatory work and private finance initiative disputes. The names to note are Philip Barden, Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs and James Dunn.

DWF 'provides the quality of personal service more typical of a small firm but with the resources of a large firm'. The London office's key disputes sectors are retail and international trade, commerce, banking and finance, technology, and energy. Jonathan Isaacs is 'a capable, personable and tenacious litigator'; and Richard Twomey 'has a formidable reputation in large and complex litigation matters'.

Fletcher Day is 'an experienced, forward-thinking law firm'. Its litigation experience covers commercial and contractual issues; company, partnership and shareholders disputes; injunctions; fraud; professional negligence; oil and gas matters; and property and construction. Jovita Vassallo is 'a very proactive analyst'.

Greenwoods Solicitors and GRM have merged to form Greenwoods GRM LLP, which 'provides high-quality advice with a focus on results'. Litigation head Nicholas Scott, who 'gives clear and detailed advice' and previously co-headed Memery Crystal LLP's dispute resolution practice, specialises in complex international commercial disputes.

GSC Solicitors LLP 'has a strong cohort of partners providing a huge range of litigation nous and subject matter expertise'. Department head Michael Shapiro focuses on general commercial, contractual and shareholder disputes, as well as property litigation, company and personal insolvency-related disputes; and senior consultant Barry Samuels 'wins the unwinnable'.

Gordon Dadds LLP has particular expertise in advising on shareholder and commercial disputes involving fraudulent misrepresentation. Dispute resolution head Nick Goldstone focuses on commercial litigation; he is also noted for matters involving civil fraud, media-related disputes and reputation management. Nicholas Yapp, Gareth Jones, Philip Cohen and Dean Nicholls are also highly regarded.

Kobre & Kim LLP's Andrew Stafford QC has particular experience in international judgment enforcement, including enforcements against sovereign judgment debtors; and James Corbett QC is noted for disputes in the financial services and technology industries as well as insolvency matters. Simon Cullingworth is a key senior counsel.

Laytons recently merged with Silverman Sherliker; the combined firm  Laytons LLP 'achieves the best commercial outcomes'. It has particular strength in litigation involving the financial services, and real estate and construction sectors as well as shareholder and partnership disputes, IP matters and product liability litigation. Practice head Geraint Thomas is 'hugely knowledgeable and experienced'; and John Abbott 'offers practical solutions'. Russell Beard is also a key contact.

Lipman Karas is 'always professional, dedicated and great with clients'. The practice's experience includes fraud, asset tracing, cross-border insolvency and large-scale commercial and banking disputes. Andrew Ford is 'an excellent commercial litigator'; and Jeremy Scott 'gives his cases unwavering attention'.

Locke Lord LLP's London litigation lawyers have extensive experience acting for UK and international clients across sectors such as aviation, banking, energy, construction, insurance and real estate, along with  corporate matters and insolvency issues. Joseph Kosky, Kevin Heath and David Grant are the recommended names.

Marriott Harrison LLP is 'a relatively small practice but has a strong commercial litigation practice with some excellent practitioners'. Tamar Halevy is 'an excellent lawyer and very hard working'. Halevy's experience includes director and shareholder disputes, breach of contract, breach of trust, fraud, and professional negligence.

Olephant Solicitors  has particular expertise in company law (including breaches of directors’ duties), minority shareholder and fraud claims. Jan Mugerwa is the key contact.

Pitmans LLP hired Donna Goldsworthy, formerly at Irwin Mitchell. The practice is best known for disputes involving real estate, IT, finance, pensions, media and entertainment, and fraud. David Archer heads the London litigation team; and Denise Fawcett is also a key litigator.

Rosenblatt's Anthony Field has extensive experience of disputes involving commercial, company and shareholder matters, banking matters (including mis-selling of interest rate swap products) and negligence claims.

Royds Withy King's 'level of service is of the highest standard'. The team is known for advising the retail sector as well as designers and inventors; and acting in financial services disputes and estate agent and business agent claims. The firm also has an expanding Indian practice. Stewart Wilkinson is team head; Chris Rodda is 'a realistic pursuer of claims'; and Stephen Welfare  is 'always professional'. Jon Sharp joined Excello Law.

Seddons 'gets excellent results'. The practice's key disputes work covers commercial matters, banking, shareholder and corporate governance issues, insolvency, professional negligence, and IP. Marvin Simons' 'technical skill and legal knowledge is incredible'; Christian Smith 'has the clients' interests at heart'; and recently promoted John Melville-Smith is 'an effective negotiator'.

Shakespeare Martineau LLP 'has developed a real presence in commercial litigation in the City'. The practice is noted for commercial and finance disputes, as well as corporate and contractual matters, insolvency litigation, professional negligence claims, real estate and construction disputes. Kamran Rehman is 'as much a strategic adviser as a lawyer'; and David Vaughan is 'a careful litigator'. Michael Mulligan is also an experienced practitioner.

Shepherd and Wedderburn  is 'excellent on every level'. The team acted for a financial services client on two significant claims, including contractual damages allegations against a Ghanaian company. Claire Stockford is a commercial disputes barrister; and senior associate Ben Pilbrow is 'very calm and analytical'. Philip Sewell joined from Maclay Murray & Spens, while former commercial disputes head Guy Harvey retired from the firm but remains a disputes funding consultant, and Jane Wessel joined Arnold & Porter.

Sheridans' commercial litigation work involves specialist media and IP expertise, including copyright and other IP issues, and the litigation frequently has an international element. Michael Thomas is the key contact.

Simons Muirhead & Burton 'works diligently and is pro-active at all times'. Razi Mireskandari is 'very good and very fair'; Stephen Shotnes advises media groups and the corporate film finance and investment sector on commercial litigation; and consultant Peter Gould 'brings to bear years of commercial litigation experience'.

Solomon Taylor & Shaw's 'excellent team provides a client-focused service'. Recent disputes work involved commercial disputes, fraud, and an oil and gas arbitration. Mark Summerfield is 'a tough, effective litigator', and his litigation experience includes classic and supercar disputes.

Steptoe and Johnson LLP's Jonathan Raynes is experienced in disputes involving the construction, energy and  real estate development sectors; and Neil Dooley represents clients in complex cross-border fraud claims, particularly with a Russian element. Angus Rodger is also a key name.

Stevens & Bolton LLP is a Guildford-based firm with sector experience in energy, food and beverage, IT, retail, franchising, insurance, pharmaceutical and aviation. Richard Mumford is team head; Richard King is managing partner; Michael Frisby is the firm’s litigation services partner; and Andrew Quick  specialises in professional negligence, corporate litigation and franchising disputes.

Sullivan & Worcester UK LLP 'provides excellent service levels in terms of turnaround times and input'. The disputes practice advises on banking, finance and insurance disputes; and Marian Boyle is 'very knowledgeable, approachable, commercially aware and responsive'.

Winckworth Sherwood LLP 'achieves commercially sensible solutions'.  The practice is particularly noted for major disputes relating to insolvency and has sector strength in energy and natural resources, life sciences, manufacturing and media. Marie-Louise King is 'highly skilled'; and Robert Paydon  is 'sensitive to clients' needs'.

Zaiwalla & Co 'offers a sound, competent service'. The team defended a breach of trust and negligence matter involving the sale of a large Russian real estate business group.  Sarosh Zaiwalla is 'endlessly creative in his thinking'; Pavani Reddy is 'efficient and client friendly'; and senior associate Leigh Crestohl is 'a skilled  litigator'.


Competition litigation

Index of tables

  1. Competition litigation
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Competition litigation clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP is 'a polished outfit' and 'formidable adversary',  noted for its pedigree in handling high-profile competition litigation cases, including MasterCard's appeal before the Competition Appeal Tribunal. The key practitioners are Mark Sansom, Bea Tormey, Rod Carlton and Alastair Chapman. Telecoms competition litigation expert Deba Das was promoted to partner in April 2018, while former team leader, Jon Lawrence, took up a pupillage at Brick Court Chambers in July 2017.

For some, Hausfeld is the 'best' claimant firm in the market, leading in claim funding and specialising in European damages claims. In addition to a London office comprising experienced competition litigators, the firm has built a strong network across the EU, which it is able to leverage in multi-jurisdictional claims. The practice is led by the 'commercially aware' Anthony Maton, who is acting alongside the 'deeply experienced' Scott Campbell for Veolia, Suez and Wolsley before the English High Court and the Dutch Transport Association in the Netherlands in a major claim arising out of a cartel involving medium- and heavy-duty truck manufacturers. Laurent Geelhand and the 'first-class' Anna Morfey represented Groupe PSA and BMW in an automotive bearings cartel claim against various European and Japanese bearing manufacturers. Nicola Boyle has 'an excellent legal mind' and currently acts for a group of UK and European corporate clients in relation to claims against MasterCard and Visa pertaining to interchange fees. 'Great lawyer' Lesley Hannah is another key contact.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP is 'one of the pre-eminent firms for competition litigation' and is 'at the forefront of the leading cases', particularly in the telecoms field. The group takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating competition litigation with the competition, regulation and trade teams, as well as the wider dispute resolution department. It stands out for its experience in regulatory appeals and private enforcement claim defence in the EU, UK and in other jurisdictions. 'A great tactician with an unparalleled strategic sense', practice head Stephen Wisking is instructed by Google on separate High Court claims brought by Kelkoo and Connexity seeeking damages for abuse of dominance following similar claims raised by the European Commission. In 2017-2018, Wisking continued to advise Sky on a variety of regulatory litigation matters, including in a judicial review of Ofcom's decision brought by campaign group Avaaz, in the context of 21st Century Fox's £11.7bn public offer to acquire the client. The 'experienced and determined' Kim Dietzel is representing Schunk in follow-on litigation relating to procedural aspects of the section 47A Competition Act regime. Adam Johnson is recommended for his experience in claims concerning automotive manufacturing and banking and finance sectors. Senior associate Andrew North is another key contact.

Hogan Lovells International LLP is noted for the 'sophisticated approach' it provides to defendants in early regulatory investigations and damages actions. The team is led by 'leading light' Nicholas Heaton, who has 'earned a reputation as an undoubted leader in the field' on the basis of his significant experience. He is currently co-ordinating the multi-jurisdictional defence for Air Canada in the £5bn damages claims in the air cargo cartel case and defending Safran in a high-value claim arising from the power cable cartel. Ruth Grant and 'intellectually tough' counsel Paul Chaplin  continues to represent British American Tobacco in a longstanding series of damages claims brought by two Georgian tobacco producers, Tbilisi Tobacco and Omega Tobacco. Christopher Hutton is recommended for his expertise in matters arising out of the financial services sector.

The 'superb' competition litigation team at Linklaters LLP is 'at the heart of interchange litigation' and particularly excels in its work for defendants. Following the retirement of Michael Sanders in April 2017, the team is led by the firm's 'leading competition litigator', Tom Cassels. The group also greatly benefits from the 'greatest competition law mind in the solicitors field', Sir Christopher Bellamy QC, who is a former European Commission judge and president of the Competition Appeal Tribunal. Highlights included acting for Hutchison 3G UK as an interested party in judicial review proceedings commenced by the client against Ofcom, Vodafone, O2 and BT with respect to Ofcom's decision to impose competition measures in the Public Sector Spectrum Release auction process. In another stand-out matter, the group is representing Visa Europe and Visa UK in multiple claims brought by various retailers concerning interchange fees. 'Good at coordinating across multiple jurisdictions', Counsel Elizabeth Jordan, who is handling a number of the firm's major cases, is 'bound for greatness', according to one client.

'Intellectually superb and relentless in pursuing the highest possible standards', the team at Slaughter and May, which is led by the 'esteemed' Richard Swallow, has 'an enviable' reputation in competition litigation. Predominantly acting for defendants in some of the most high-profile claims, the group works closely with the global competition department, which is headed by Philippe Chappatte. Highlights included handling the principal UK actions and European follow-on litigation for British Airways in a major global multi-party litigation, following on from the air cargo cartel investigation. In another standout matter, it is representing Koninklijke Philips in a damages claim brought by in the English High Court by iiyama, arising from the European Commission's CRT and CRT Glass cartel decisions. It is also acting for MAN in various damages actions in courts and tribunals in the UK concerning the European Commission's truck cartel investigation.  Also recommended are the 'brilliant and meticulous' Jonathan Clark, 'tactically shrewd' Isabel Taylor, 'tough litigator' Sarah Lee and Camilla Sanger, who was promoted to partner in May 2018.

Allen & Overy LLP's 'strong' competition litigation team utilises the its cross-sectoral expertise (which spans litigation, IP and financial services) predominantly to advise clients on the defence of claims. It has a particular specialism in anti-trust litigation. Alasdair Balfour and 'tough and pragmatic' Jonathan Hitchin are advising 441 Trust Company - a trust company representing 441 European banks - in proceedings, currently at appeal, brought against Visa by several UK retailers in relation to interchange fees. In another highlight, Dominic Long defended Huawei against claims brought by Conversant Wireless for a declaration by the UK Courts that it had offered fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms in respect of its standard essential patents (SEP) portfolio in the first case of its kind; Nicola Dagg is advising on the FRAND aspects of the case. 'Highly rated in this field', global co-head of antitrust Antonio Bavasso represented 21st Century Fox in a judicial review of Ofcom's fit and proper decision pertaining to its acquisition of Sky and continues to advise the client in relation to the on-going phase 2 public interest review connected to the deal. 'Sensible strategist' Mark Friend leads the London antitrust group and is a veteran of the competition space.

The 'top-notch' antitrust and competition team at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP is 'a market leader' in follow-on damages claims, for which it stands out for its 'impressive record' in high-profile cases at trial. The team is led by Edward Coulson, who is 'quick to understand the economics of a case' and 'brings with him a wealth of experience' in competition litigation. Antitrust and competition head Andrew Hockley is noted for his approach to teamwork, which informs his 'strong overall strategic perspective'. Together, the duo are advising Royal Mail group on its landmark High Court claim against DAF, in relation to the defendant's participation in a price fixing cartel in medium and heavy trucks; successfully securing orders for disclosure of the European Commission's file and key documents in the case and persuading the Court of Appeal not to grant DAF's application for permission to appeal. They are also representing BT group in a similar claim against the same defendant. In another highlight, Joby Davies is acting for National Grid in its claim for damages due to overcharges paid for the purchase of high voltage power cables against 20 defendants across eight countries. Chris Bryant and senior associates Rachel Ziegler and Clare Reeve are key practitioners with significant experience in the space.

Clifford Chance LLP's team draws on the firm's global presence, its wider commercial litigation and investigations expertise and specialism in financial services competition investigations to defend clients involved major UK and EU competition litigation. Practice head Elizabeth Morony is instructed on matters across industry sectors, focusing on antitrust litigation and cartel investigations. Contentious antitrust expert Luke Tolaini has significant experience in cross-border matters; he is currently leading Pfizer's appeal to the Competition Appeal Tribunal against its decision to impose an £84.2m fine for excessive pricing, in an abuse of dominance case. His other matters include representing Xelia and Alpharma LLC in pay-for-delay litigation. The group is also advising a global bank on its defence of a claim brought by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation against a number of banks relating to alleged manipulation and collusion of LIBOR. Matthew Scully  is another key contact, Samantha Ward was promoted to partner in May 2018 and handles litigation arising from the technology sector.

Mishcon de Reya LLP has established 'a stellar reputation' in the competition litigation space, principally for acting in high value damages claims. The group is led by the 'creative and strategically excellent' Rob Murray, who is currently representing Microsoft in its cartel damages claim against Sony, Samsung, Panasonic, Sanyo and LG Chem arising from a global battery cartel. He also represented Sainsbury's against MasterCard in its claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, recovering £70m in damages for the client in relation to interchange fees. In another interchange case, 'strong and effective' litigator Sarah Houghton (noted for her 'strong management skills') is instructed by John Lewis on separate High Court claims against MasterCard and Visa. Andrij Jurkiw is acting for Argos in its High Court follow-on claim against Samsung and LG Display pertaining to a global cartel affecting LCD panels. Managing associate Natasha Pearman is recommended for her expertise in complex competition issues relating to IP.

Stewarts Law LLP is 'one of the leading competition damages firms in the field' and its team is particularly noted for the 'steel determination' with which it manages large pieces of litigation for claimants pursuing damages arising from cartel infringements and abuses of dominance. The team is co-led by 'excellent strategist' Kate Pollock and 'resourceful' Kenny Henderson, who has vast cross-sectoral experience in competition disputes. Ian Gatt QC is recommended as 'a very far-sighted thinker'. The group represented multiple claimants, including Arcadia Group, Asda, Next and B&Q , in separate actions against Visa Europe and Visa concerning interchange fees. It also represented iiyama in separate claims against Schott and Samsung Electronics regarding CRT and LCT panel cartels respectively; in cases currently pending trial. The 'meticulous' Inge Forster is another key contact with 'good procedural knowledge'.

The 'technically strong' team at Ashurst is instructed by both claimants and defendants engaged in the spectrum of competition litigation. It particularly stands out its 'practical approach' and 'exceptionally detailed knowledge of the latest Government policies and ongoing law proceedings'. Group head Euan Burrows is defending Pirelli against High Court proceedings arising from the power cables cartel. Nigel Parr is representing Intel in its appeal before the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Justice against the General Court's decision to uphold a historic abuse of dominance claim. Duncan Liddell successfully advised Virgin Media on appeals before the Competition Appeal Tribunal in relation to the dark fibre access remedy aspect of Ofcom's 2016 Business Connectivity Market Review. Tom Connor and associate Max Strasberg are further key practitioners.

Boutique IP firm Bristows LLP stands out for its 'exceptional strength' at the overlap between IP and competition law, for which the 'seriously clever' team is noted for its 'creative' approach to competition damages cases. The group is led by 'extremely knowledgeable' Pat Treacy, who is ably supported by Sophie Lawrance and Stephen Smith. The group continues to defend Google in a High Court action brought by Foundem following the European Commission's decision concerning the client's online search function. In another highlight, it represented Samsung in relation to the competition law aspects of a major dispute with Unwired Planet and Ericsson involving FRAND value for essential patents. Life sciences competition law expert Marie Manley departed to Sidley Austin LLP in February 2018.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP stands out for its representation of major defendants and claimants in follow-on and standalone damages claims, appeals against competition authority decisions, government investigations and criminal litigation. The firm often coordinates complex European competition litigation matters from the London office, which has significant experience in the space. Jonathan Kelly is defending LG Display in a follow-on claim for damages by iiyama arising out of the European Commission's LCD infringement decision. Possessing 'an ability to see the crux of issues' and provide 'meaningful advice', Maurits Dolmans is acting alongside Kelly for NVIDIA in connection with a damages claim against Qualcomm before the English High Court for an alleged instance of abuse of dominance. Sunil Gadhia and Francisco Enrique González-Díaz in Brussels successfully defended Sony against High Court damages proceedings regarding lithium ion batteries brought by Microsoft Mobile, initially obtaining a stay of the claim, which was later unsuccessfully appealed by the claimant. James Norris-Jones joined the team from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP in April 2018.

DLA Piper's 'excellent' defendant-focused team continues to advise clients on major follow-on and standalone competition litigation matters, including multiple pay-for-delay cases. The team is led by 'hugely experienced' Sam Szlezinger, who specialises in UK and EU competition law. Possessing 'excellent strategic judgement' and 'superb litigation skills', Sarah Smith is acting for Merck in its ongoing appeal in the Competition Appeal Tribunal against the CMA's antitrust decision regarding the drug paroxetine. Smith is also representing Lupin in a General Court appeal against the European Commissions' antitrust decision in the perindopril investigation. On the claimant side, Alexandra Kamerling represented the Origin Group in a private enforcement action against XL Farmcare UK and others in relation to alleged breaches of competition law, leading to an out-of-court settlement.

The team at Norton Rose Fulbright advises claimants and defendants on the full range of competition law proceedings before UK and EU courts and in regulatory appeals before the Competition and Markets Authority. Providing 'strong leadership', practice head Peter Scott is noted for his 'conscientiousness' and experience in high profile competition disputes. Scott represented The Law Society in its defence of a fast-track claim before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, brought by Socrates Training, alleging that the client's accreditation scheme breached competition law. In another stand out case, alongside Mark Simpson, he is currently representing Vodafone, as an indirect purchaser, in its High Court claims against multiple suppliers of smart chips; a case listed for trial in 2019. 'Highly competent' senior associate James Flett is another key figure on the team.

The 'very clued-up litigation team' at Pinsent Masons LLP handles a 'good spread' of contentious competition matters, including follow-on damages actions, appeals of decisions  by competition authorities and procurement litigation. Alan Davis leads the team and is regularly involved in proceedings before the EU and UK courts; recent work includes acting for CST Industries in proceedings before the Competition and Markets Authority and the Competition Appeal Tribunal lodged by Balmoral Tanks in relation to the judgment in a historic civil cartel investigation. The 'excellent' Ben Lasserson stands out for his 'decisiveness' and is currently representing a number of claimants in cartel damages cases.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP's team handles both follow-on and standalone competition disputes, leveraging the firm's specialism in heavyweight litigation, often with a US angle. It is most noted for acting on the claimant side, but it is also instructed by a number of defendants. The group is co-led by 'determined litigator' Kate Vernon and Boris Bronfentrinker, who is noted as 'innovative in formulating claims and finding arguments to run'. Highlights for Vernon included representing the Federal Insurance Deposit Corporation in a High Court claim against English and European banks for alleged collusionto the setting of the USD LIBOR rate between 2007 and 2011; the first standalone competition claim in relation to USD LIBOR in the English courts. Bronfentrinker is currently advising Daimler on all aspects of its defence strategy in relation to hundreds of threatened claims arising from the European Commission's decision finding that manufacturers of trucks infringed competition law. Of Counsel Nicola Chesaites is another key practitioner and has played a leading role in a number of significant matters.

The team at Simmons & Simmons specialises in antitrust litigation, and regularly advises clients on bringing and defending significant actions, both at the EU and national UK level. In a major victory for the client, 'immensely experienced' department head Charles Bankes led a team that successfully defended LG Electronics against a High Court Damages claim brought by iiyama following the European Commission's cartel findings in relation to the markets for cathode ray tubes. Bankes, alongside 'solutions-focused' Patrick Boylan and 'excellent litigator' Stephen Moses, is currently acting for BP in its High Court proceedings against Visa in a high value competition damages claim relating to cross-border and domestic multilateral interchange fees in Europe and the UK. In February 2018, the group was joined from CMS by Satyen Dhana, who has experience in UK and EU competition litigation. Former head, Tony Woodgate retired in October 2017.

Travers Smith LLP's 'extremely strong' litigation team takes a cross-departmental approach to competition litigation; co-led by 'profoundly knowledgeable' competition lawyer Nigel Seay and 'extremely smart' litigator Caroline Edwards. The group predominantly represents defendants in follow-on and standalone damages cases and in appeals against competition authorities. The group continues to advise chip manufacturer Renesas on a major follow-on damages claim brought by Vodafone, following a European Commission cartel ruling in 2014. 'Impressive litigator' Heather Gagen was promoted to partner in July 2017. Stephen Whitfield is another key name.

White & Case LLP's competition litigation practice encompasses defending follow-on damages claims and appeals against EU and UK regulatory decisions. The group is based in the competition department, but draws heavily on the firm's exceptional disputes litigation team. Marc Israel, who joined from Macfarlanes LLP in 2017, heads the competition litigation team and divides his time between London and Brussels, with a focus on multi-jurisdictional matters. Mark Powell leads on EMEA competition matters, and has expertise in competition law as it relates to telecommunications. Charles Balmain continues to act for NTN in defence of follow-on damages claims in the Competition Appeal Tribunal and other threatened proceedings in the UK and other jurisdictions arising out of the European Commission decision on the automotive bearing cartel. Jacquelyn MacLennan represented Toshiba in an appeal to the European General Court against a Commission decision to fine the client for participating in a global cartel in cathode ray tubes. James Killick is another key contact.

Baker McKenzie's team draws on the firm's international presence to offer claimants and defendants cross-jurisdictional representation in competition litigation, including standalone and follow-on damages claims. The group is led by Francesca Richmond, who advised Eurofoam on the defence of a claim brought by multiple claimants following a European Commission decision that the client was involved in a cartel infringement in various European jurisdictions; leading to a settlement out of court. Keith Jones and senior associate Jennifer Reeves are also recommended.

RPC's competition litigation group is led by 'commercially-minded' Lambros Kilaniotis who has 'a reputation for achieving favourable settlements' in a variety of competition disputes. Promoted to partner in May 2017, Chris Ross specialises in follow-on damages claims for both claimants and defendants. Catherine Percy is currently representing NHS Scotland, the Department of Health and the Regional Health and Social Care Board in Northern Ireland, in an action for damages brought against Servier arising from potential infringements of EU competition law concerning the cardiovascular drug, Perindopril.

Taylor Wessing LLP's team is noted for its ability to provide 'strategic solutions' to contentious competition matters, including defending clients in national and European cartel investigations, bringing damages actions, dispute resolution and advocacy before European and UK courts. The group has particular expertise in the intersection between competition law and IP rights. Group leader Robert Vidal continues to represent Ranbaxy Laboratories and Sun Pharmaceutical Industries in an appeal against the European Commission's decision to fine the client for entering into anti-competitive settlement agreements relating to Citalopram. 'Extremely knowledgeable' senior counsel Louisa Penny has significant court experience on both the defence and claimant side and stands out for her 'incisive' approach.

Winston & Strawn London LLP's team predominantly represents defendants involved in follow-on completion claims, leveraging the firm's acumen in European Commission cases. It provides the spectrum of competition litigation services, including cartel defence, trade and sanctions advice and regulatory advice. 'Responsive' department head Peter Crowther is noted for having 'a good sense of the commercial considerations of a case'; he is currently advising Sberbank in relation to its application to the General Court to remove EU capital market access restrictions imposed by the Council of the European Union against a number of Russian banks.


Debt recovery

Index of tables

  1. Debt recovery
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Debt recovery clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

drydensfairfax solicitors is a boutique debt recovery firm and as such, is well positioned to provide volume debt recovery and debt litigation services to major lenders, debt purchasers, financial institutions and key government departments. The group, led by Philip Holden, utilises innovative pre-litigation technological debt recovery practices and analytics to determine the cases in which litigation is an appropriate recovery option or method of enforcement; including outbound dialler-based calling, using voice recognition, and SMS text messaging to encourage contact and payment. The firm has also developed a digital portal to simplify customer repayments. Tim Pope continues to develop the firm's a high value insolvency service. Steve Heighway handles pre-litigation services; and Jo Pearson leads on conduct risk and customer experience and has particular expertise in Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) compliance.

The debt recovery team at DWF is noted for its 'efficiency' and 'delivering the service required'. Leeds-based department head David Scottow has significant experience in debt litigation and focuses on the recovery of volume consumer and commercial debt. James Perry has particular expertise in the regulatory aspects of debt collection and is advising a multinational insurance company with respect to enforcement matters; he continues to assist LGSS with the recovery of £1m in social care costs associated with the client's large share services on behalf of two local authorities. Possessing 'a drive to deliver', Kevin Feehan specialises in debt collection and civil recovery work pertaining to theft, fraud, non-payment, shop-lifting and over-payment of salaries. Clients include Morrisons, Anglian Water Services, Sainsbury's and Fleetcor.

'A safe pair of hands', the team at Shoosmiths LLP 'combines volume capacity with the breadth of technical capability of a full-service law firm'. It provides debt recovery services to major banks, lenders, debt purchasers and corporates across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The department is divided into specialist teams, dealing with asset finance, consumer secured and unsecured lending, commercial and corporate secured and unsecured lending, invoice finance, mortgage shortfall and B2B trade debt. The group also handles FCA permissions for debt administration, debt collection and mortgage administration. In a mandate led by asset-based lending recoveries expert Melanie Chell, the firm was instructed by Oodle Financial Services to undertake live portfolio management and collections work to deal with all customers who fall more than two months into arrears. Waine Mannix leads the recovery services group, which includes Stuart Montgomery, Jim Taylor and Jenny Ogden. Gillian Crotty joined from Wilson Nesbitt in June 2018.

Noted for providing 'an excellent debt recovery service', Clarke Willmott LLP handles issues for local councils, government departments, corporates, financial institutions and managing agents. The group continues to assist The Insolvency Service with the collection of income payment agreements (IPAs), book debts and antecedent/specialist recoveries. It is also instructed by Viridor Waste Management on the recovery of its commercial waste management debts and debts incurred in employee salary over-payments; and longstanding client Thames Water Utilities on water rates collection.  Kathryn Quinton and Philip Roberts co-lead the team, which includes 'superb' pre-litigation debt specialist Karen Hellier and insolvency expert Stuart Hoysted.

The established team at Devonshires Solicitors LLP handles all forms of debt recovery for clients that include City SMEs, banks, financial institutions, local authorities and government agencies, providing 'an excellent level of service'. The group, which sits within the wider commercial litigation and dispute resolution department, is led by Matthew Hennessy-Gibbs, who is instructed by Michael Page International on a variety of debt recovery matters arising out of its UAE operations. He also assisted Sodexo with the recovery of £156,000 for the provision of services from a joint venture which included Carillion. Other key contacts include Jim Varley and Robert Edge, both of whom are veterans of the area.

Irwin Mitchell's team is recognised for its 'reliable service' and 'an excellent debt collection ratio', handling all stages of the debt collection process. The experienced team is supplemented by a bespoke case management system, which is available to clients that include corporates and major government departments. Highly experienced debt recovery manager Barry Hogg was instructed by Harrods to recover £500,000 for jewellery a customer had asked to be reserved in his name, but neither paid all the monies due nor took possession of the items, leading to an amicable settlement. Alongside solicitor Jane Begley and Laura Rook, he assisted Crown Record Management with the successful recovery of £100,000 owed by a major mobile telephone company who had multiple accounts with the client, following the issuance of separate proceedings for each account. Other clients include PayPoint Network and BNP Paribas Real Estate Advisory and Property Management.

Moon Beever's debt recovery team has 'second to none industry knowledge' and for a team structure and IT capability that enables 'cost-effective' recovery work for low-value debts. The group acts for a number of debt collection agencies, a government department and several local authorities, as well as a number of utilities companies, including Centrica, Orsted Energy Sales UK and iSupply Energy. Frances Coulson leads the insolvency and business recovery group and specialises in contentious insolvency matters. With a 'forensic eye for detail', Charles Robinson  is instructed by British Gas Trading on a number of debt recovery issues, including claims for non-payment of electricity charges.


International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. International arbitration
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Leading individuals: London, Dispute resolution, International Arbitration
  5. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Leading individuals: London, Dispute resolution, International Arbitration

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International arbitration clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP 'provides legal services of the highest degree; it assembles a steady team that is fully committed and involved during the process'. Recent work includes sector-specialist arbitrations in energy and natural resources, telecoms, and mining and minerals, among others. The team represented Anglo American, the UK and South Africa-based global mining company, in a BIT arbitration against the Venezuelan Government under the ICSID Additional Facility Rules; the dispute relates to the expropriation of a number of Anglo American’s mining assets. It also represented Deutsche Telekom (DT) in an UNCITRAL BIT arbitration against the Republic of India, which related to the expropriation of DT's investment in a hybrid satellite-terrestrial communications business in India. Nigel Rawding QC  is 'an excellent tactician, never loses sight of the wood for the trees and understands the client’s end-goal immediately'; Sylvia Noury specialises in treaty arbitrations with a focus on emerging markets, particularly Latin America and Africa; and Will Thomas 'has a unique view as to how things would be perceived by the arbitrator'. Another recommended practitioner is senior associate Evgeniya Rubinina, who 'impresses with her commitment and commercial insight'. Reza Mohtashami QC moved to Three Crowns LLP.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom (UK) LLP's 'highly effective London disputes team' is particularly renowned for handling complex M&A and shareholder dispute arbitrations, particularly in the telecoms and energy sectors; it also has a notable focus on investment treaty arbitrations. The team won a US$1.2bn arbitration award on behalf of NTT DOCOMO (Docomo), Japan's largest telecoms company, in an LCIA arbitration against India's Tata Sons, which breached its contractual obligation to find a buyer for Docomo's shares in Tata's Indian mobile phone venture.  In other highlights, the practice successfully represented Devas Multimedia Private (Devas) in an ICC arbitration against Antrix Corporation, a company wholly owned by the Government of India, for breaching a contract to launch and operate communication satellites on behalf of Devas. David Kavanagh QC 'knows the law better than anyone', Karyl Nairn QC  is 'the market’s top pick for the most difficult, big-ticket disputes', and Bruce Macaulay is 'a consummate professional with great judgement - behind his calm demeanour there lies a deeply effective strategist'. Also recommended are Daniel Gal, who is 'sharp, very hardworking and absolutely determined', David Edwards, whose 'CV is phenomenal', David Herlihy and counsels Nick Lawn and recently promoted Jonathon Egerton-Peters.

A 'go-to firm for high-value and complex matters',¬†Three Crowns LLP¬†'leanly staffs matters with very talented attorneys'. ¬†The firm is¬†dedicated exclusively to international arbitration practice and¬†has a varied sector workload that¬†includes energy, utilities, financial services, mining, telecoms and government.¬†Highlights¬†include¬†advising Gas Natural in a high-value ICC joint venture-related arbitration against ENI; the matter involved a liquefaction plant in Egypt that was¬†affected by political disruption and had serious ramifications for downstream buyers and sellers. In other matters, the team represented ConocoPhillips in a large ICC arbitration against PDVSA, the State Oil Company of Venezuela, which related to the expropriation of ConocoPhillips' interests in two heavy-oil projects.¬†Constantine Partasides QC¬†is 'an exceptional attorney and advocate, who gets to the heart of disputes and provides candid and useful advice';¬†Ga√ętan Verhoosel¬†is senior vice-chair of the IBA Arbitration Committee;¬†Carmen Martinez Lopez¬†acts in matters in countries such as Panama and Spain and in the CIS region; and¬†Scott Vesel¬†is a specialist in disputes arising out of Eastern Europe. Other key contacts include counsel¬†¬†Gaurav Sharma¬†and recently promoted partner¬†Manish Aggarwal.¬†Reza Mohtashami QC¬†recently joined from¬†Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP.

WilmerHale's 'top-notch practice has a deep bench with vast experience in international arbitration and extraordinary strategic and critical thinking skills'. The practice handles a large portfolio of major international disputes and has a strong track record of success in complex, high-value disputes. Recent successful outcomes include a settlement in a high-value LCIA arbitration involving the provision and operation of gas processing facilities; the team also acted for a multinational oil field services company in English law, Paris-seated ICC arbitrations. The 'legendary' Gary Born has served as counsel in over 650 arbitrations, including several of the largest arbitrations in ICC and ad hoc history; Duncan Speller is 'a rising star in the international arbitration world and an excellent choice to lead or second-chair before a UK-centric tribunal'; Steven Finizio has particular experience with energy, shareholder, telecoms, financial services, joint venture and M&A issues; and Franz Schwarz has extensive experience with arbitral practice, procedure and advocacy both in civil and common law systems. Other names to note include Charlie Caher and recently promoted counsels Daniel Costelloe and Victoria Narancio.n

Allen & Overy LLP 'conveys a real sense of being a team rather than a collection of individuals'. The practice stands out for its work on energy banking and finance, insurance and infrastructure projects-related arbitrations. It continued to act for South Stream Transport, a Netherlands-incorporated subsidiary of Russian energy giant, Gazprom, in its dispute with Saipem, an Italian oil and gas industry contractor; the dispute relates to a now-cancelled high-value pipeline project to transport gas from Russia to various European countries. Richard Smith heads the firm's London international arbitration practice; Mark Levy QC is 'doing great things in the energy field'; Kate Davies has extensive expertise in both international commercial and investment treaty arbitration; and the recently promoted James Freeman 'has excellent arbitration knowledge and good general commercial sense'. Lauren Lindsay, Naomi Briercliffe and Guled Yusuf are key senior associates. Jeffrey Sullivan left for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.

Clifford Chance LLP recently acted in several high-value arbitrations, including under shareholder agreements, finance agreements and construction contracts. The firm also has a strong investment treaty practice, working closely with its Perth and Warsaw offices. It represented Standard Bank entities and their syndicated lenders, as claimants, in concurrent London-seated LCIA arbitration proceedings against Erdenet Mining Corporation (EMC) and Just Group, which arose out of agreements entered into for the ultimate benefit of EMC. Key figures include Audley Sheppard QC, who is the global co-head of international arbitration; Alex Panayides, who 'provides prompt and helpful advice'; Rob Lambert, who has particular expertise in the energy, infrastructure and telecoms sectors, as well as considerable experience of joint venture and shareholder disputes; and Marie Berard, who has acted as counsel and advocate in over 40 international commercial arbitration proceedings. Jessica Gladstone is also highly rated.

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP is 'absolutely top rate; the work is of an exceptionally high level, with great research, superb drafting skills and quick response times'. The practice acts for both sovereign and commercial clients, whether as claimant or respondent, in international commercial arbitration and investor-treaty arbitration. Highlights included representing The Nova Group Investments in an ICSID claim against the Romanian Government under the Netherlands-Romania BIT, which involved the purported expropriation of its Romanian assets and breaches of their BIT protections. Lord Peter Goldsmith QC is 'undoubtedly one of the very top advocates around and his appearances are excellent'; Wendy Miles QC  acts in major investor-state and international commercial arbitration; and Tony Dymond advises on high-value disputes arising from large-scale projects, particularly in the energy and infrastructure sectors. Patrick Taylor is also highly regarded and the key international counsels are Aimee-Jane Lee and recently promoted Samantha Rowe.

Herbert Smith Freehills LLP's 'strong team of dedicated lawyers masters complex subject matter and the advice is pragmatic, measured and fit for purpose'. It advises across a range of sectors, including TMT, financial services, pharmaceuticals, transport, defence and construction, but is particularly well known for its energy arbitration work. Global international arbitration head Paula Hodges is 'a seasoned arbitration lawyer who is very good at handling client relationships at a senior level as well as reassuring nervous witnesses'. Other key figures include Craig Tevendale, who is UK international arbitration head, and Nicholas Peacock, who heads the India international arbitration practice. Also recommended are Chris Parker, Andrew Cannon and of counsel Iain Maxwell.

Hogan Lovells International LLP 'has an excellent team of experienced arbitrators'. It has extensive experience in cases involving Africa, the Middle East, Russia and the CIS, and regularly acts in energy, financial services, telecoms and aerospace-related matters. The team represented several entities in the Energy Standard group of companies in two consolidated LCIA arbitrations against companies owned by a Russian billionaire; the dispute concerned the ownership and control of a significant Ukrainian joint venture between the parties, which produces equipment used in the extraction and transportation of natural gas. Global litigation and arbitration head Michael Davison is 'very smart and an excellent operator', and London international arbitration head Kieron O’Callaghan is 'highly dedicated and an experienced arbitrator'. Other key figures incldue Nathan Searle, who 'has very good Africa knowledge', public international law specialist Markus Burgstaller, Julianne Hughes-Jennett and counsel Ben Hornan, who 'has real arbitration experience and expertise'.

White & Case LLP is 'one of the leading firms in this area and provides a very good service'. The practice is regularly instructed by major corporations and governments with politically sensitive and complex arbitrations; and it has particular strength in advising contractors, financial services, oil and gas, and high-tech companies. It represented Panama's Grupo Unidos por el Canal and its shareholders Sacyr, Salini Impregilo and Jan De Nul in a dispute with the Panama Canal Authority, which involved the $5.5bn Panama Canal expansion project. Phillip Capper and Aloke Ray QC are the practice co-heads; Russia-related disputes expert David Goldberg is 'a very good lawyer, particularly because he has a lot of common sense and is very sensitive to the needs of clients'; Mark Clarke is 'a class act'; and Clare Connellan 'brings alternative views to the table and unexpected solutions'. Dipen Sabharwal QC, Edward Attenborough and Paul Brumpton are also key practitioners, while associate Alexander Rowe  is 'an upcoming lawyer who is dedicated and sharp'.

Ashurst is 'excellent for case preparation, client handling and assembling the right team for the job'. The practice is best known for energy and resources disputes and has a particular specialism in ad hoc and institutional arbitrations in Scandinavia. Global and London arbitration group head Matthew Saunders is 'an excellent advocate who has a particular strength of understanding the requirements of addressing foreign arbitral tribunals'; and Tim Reid is 'untiring in his pursuit of the right answer for clients'. Tom Cummins regularly acts in matters in the energy, mining, and infrastructure sectors, and senior associate Emma Martin is 'a very competent lawyer'.

'Always aligned with clients' commercial objectives', Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP was formed in 2018 from the merger of Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP (BLP), known for construction and engineering, energy and natural resources, insurance and reinsurance and sport disputes, with Bryan Cave, the latter firm bringing in Mathew Rea and the 'brilliant associate' Claire Morel de Westgaver as well as experience in CEE and CIS matters and shipping arbitrations. On the BLP side, the key names are international arbitration group head George Burn, who joined from Vinson & Elkins RLLP, Roman Khodykin, who is 'a great strategist', and Carol Mulcahy. Work highlights include acting for Vibe Syndicate Management, the run-off manager of Lloyd’s Syndicate 994, as respondents in arbitration proceedings commenced by another syndicate seeking reinsurance payments it alleged were due as a result of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre. Michael Polonsky left the firm. Ania Farren joined Vannin Capital in August 2018 and David Robertson moved to White & Case LLP in October 2018. Robert Douglas left the firm.

Clyde & Co LLP's 'outstanding team' is focused on international arbitration in sectors such as insurance, infrastructure, energy and natural resources, transportation and trade and commodities. It acted as lead counsel for an energy equipment manufacturer in an ICC arbitration proceeding governed by Brazilian law in New York, which sought a declaration that an insurer was bound by a supply contract's arbitration agreement. Maurice Kenton  is 'an extremely diligent and resourceful specialist in international arbitration'; Ben Knowles and David Leckie are well known for energy matters; and Peter Hirst is an insurance and Latin America specialist. Lee Bacon, David Reynolds, Richard Power, Ricardo Lewandowski and Devika Khanna are also highly regarded. David Hesse and Alejandro Garcia joined from Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP and Winston & Strawn London LLP, respectively.

'Involved in top-quality work', CMS 'has a very broad-based team and is knowledgeable in a variety of areas'. The arbitration group is highly rated for energy disputes and regularly works alongside the firm's experts in consumer products, financial services, hotels and leisure, and infrastructure and project finance as well as life sciences and healthcare, real estate, and technology, media and communications. Adam Greaves led advice to Trade Wind Industries in claims against the Government of the Turks & Caicos Islands for environmental pollution and reneging on a development agreement. The department heads are Richard Bamforth and Jonathan Warne ; other highly rated advisers include Guy Pendell, Phillip Ashley, Adrian Bell and Sarah Grenfell, while Mark Davison  and Kushal Gandhi are the senior associates to note.

King & Spalding LLP 'provides a top-level service for international arbitration; the practice has the requisite industry knowledge in order to efficiently and effectively handle disputes and its advice is spot-on'. The practice has a special focus on disputes involving energy, particularly oil and gas, and it fields lawyers with additional experience in financial services, mining and shipping. Thomas Sprange QC and Sajid Ahmed led advice to Reliance Industries in a New Delhi arbitration under the UNCITRAL Rules, which related to a production-sharing contract with the Indian Government. Other key figures include Stuart Isaacs QC, who 'possesses a fine legal mind and is articulate, persuasive and extraordinarily efficient'; Nicholas Cherryman, who is 'an extraordinary specialist and a highly reliable person, whose commitment to excellence and sharp instincts of a court lawyer make his performance unparalleled'; and John Savage QC, who divides his time between London and Singapore and 'stands out as a person who has exceptional international experience'. Ruth Byrne and Egishe Dzhazoyan are also key names.

Kirkland & Ellis International LLP's 'renowned and leading international arbitration practice is responsive, good at formulating tactics and thinking ahead'. The team represents clients across the globe in arbitrations, including both ad hoc and institutional proceedings; it recently experienced new instructions emanating from the Asian market and in new areas such as telecoms, infrastructure projects, shipping and pharmaceuticals. The practice also frequently advises on complex public international law questions. London international arbitration practice head Christopher Colbridge is 'an impressive tactician and strategist, who is highly dedicated and able to assemble the right team for the right assignment'; Chiraag Shah is 'sharp, highly organised and highly committed'; and Rajinder Bassi is 'grounded, determined and gets the job done effectively'. Richard Boynton is also widely praised.

Latham & Watkins' 'top-flight team' acts in high-profile matters in several different industry sectors, including oil and gas, energy and construction disputes, and investment treaty arbitration. Highlights included defending Ukraine in an arbitration brought by three Cypriot companies under the Energy Charter Treaty. Co-chair of the firm's London litigation and trial practice Oliver Browne is 'a great team leader, has very sound judgment and is someone clients can rely on in good times and bad'; recently appointed silk Sophie Lamb QC  is global co-chair of the international arbitration practice; Philip Clifford QC also took silk in 2018; Charles Claypoole regularly takes a leading role in investment treaty disputes; and Sebastian Seelmann-Eggebert divides his time between London and Hamburg. Charles Courtenay is a key counsel, while Samuel Pape is a well-regarded associate.

'Demonstrating an impressive hands-on approach', Linklaters LLP's 'excellent service includes seamlessly working with other counsel within and outside UK, instructing non-legal experts and managing witnesses effectively'. The practice is particularly focused on disputes in the financial services, oil and gas, natural resources, and telecoms sectors; and the firm fields partners with substantial Africa experience across Anglophone, Lusophone, and Francophone Africa.Tom Lidstrom'provides a top-class service'; Matthew Weiniger QC is global international arbitration head; and Michael Bennett is global dispute resolution division head. Ben Carroll is also highly rated and Jacqueline Chaplin and  Ula Cartwright-Finch are well-regarded managing associates. Marc Harvey  relocated to London from the firm's Hong Kong office, where he was Asia regional managing partner, while Greg Reid retired from the firm.

Norton Rose Fulbright is 'a very strong player; it has considerable strength in depth, which allows its talented lawyers to achieve successful outcomes for its clients'. The practice acts for global financial institutions, major corporations and governments and state-owned entities from the firm's key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology; and life sciences and healthcare. James Rogers is 'thorough and reliable and has an incisive understanding of international arbitration law and practice'; Patrick Farrell is 'a very experienced litigator who has an exceptional understanding of strategy that results in successful outcomes for his clients'; and Sherina Petit  is 'pragmatic and will always go that further mile for clients'. The other recommended advisers are Neil Miller, Donald Warnock and Philip Roche, along with Holly Stebbing and Irina Tymczyszyn. Patrick Bourke  and Marie Kelly recently returned to London from the firm's respective Dubai and Athens offices, while Deirdre Walker moved to the firm's Dubai office as Middle East head. Deborah Ruff joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP.

Pinsent Masons LLP 'has a very resourceful and strategic team that understands the complex issues behind large-scale disputes'. The international arbitration practice is focused on the firm's core sectors, namely energy, infrastructure, and technology. It also fields lawyers with investment treaty expertise. Mark Roe is international arbitration head; David McIlwaine  is international arbitration committee chair; Michael Fenn is London litigation and regulatory head; Rob McCallough is 'vastly experienced and pragmatic'; and Rob Wilkins is 'an absolute guru of Africa-related arbitrations'. The other names to note are Jason Hambury, Katharine Davies, Alistair Calvert, Adrian Elliott, Martin Harman, Gurmukh Riyat and consultant Clotilde Lemarié. Andrew Denton relocated to London from the Sydney office and Jean François Le Gal joined from Brown Rudnick LLP. Manoj Vaghela  and Virginie Colaiuta joined Charles Russell Speechlys LLP and LMS Legal LLP, respectively.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP's 'leading experts in international arbitration are fully familiar with arbitration practice but their extensive expertise in traditional litigation makes their approach unique when proceeding to the enforcement stage'. The practice's experience covers investment treaty and commercial arbitrations; and it advises on high-value arbitrations involving the oil and gas, mining, energy, telecoms, construction and infrastructure sectors. The team represented AngloGold Ashanti’s local Ghanaian subsidiary in an ICSID arbitration against the Republic of Ghana; this was pursuant to a concession agreement's arbitration clause. Nick Marsh is 'an expert tactician and his ability to navigate complex multi-jurisdictional problems are second to none'; and Stephen Jagusch QC heads the international arbitration practice. Anthony Sinclair and Epaminontas Triantafilou   are also highly rated.

Simmons & Simmons 'has a fantastic arbitration practice that is very responsive'. It has particular expertise in disputes involving emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East, China and the Far East and the firm's lawyers are strong industry experts in TMT (particularly telecoms), financial institutions, and energy and infrastructure. The team acted for the Indonesian Government in a bilateral treaty arbitration brought by Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys, which concerned an investment in a coal mining project. Simon Morgan 'has massive experience in this field', Jayne Bentham is 'a total star who is very tactically aware and has an excellent eye for a good point', and Stuart Dutson has extensive experience of arbitrations in Africa. Other names to note are David Sandy, managing associate Basil Woodd-Walker  and managing associate Minesh Tanna. Rob Horne joined Osborne Clarke LLP.

Stephenson Harwood 'performs excellently and its experienced practitioners are able to handle the most difficult and complex disputes efficiently'. The practice has emerging markets expertise and it is complemented by arbitration-focused specialists in the firm's marine and construction disputes teams. International arbitration group head Louis Flannery QC, who took silk in 2018, and Haris Zografakis acted for PDVSA Servicios in a commercially sensitive, high-value dispute concerning an agreement with a contractor for the drilling of oil wells. The 'highly effective' Kamal Shah, who heads the Africa and India groups, 'has become a force to reckon with in international arbitration; Shai Wade, who heads the upstream oil and gas disputes team, is 'an extraordinary lawyer with pure diligence'; counsel Duncan Bagshaw is 'very responsive and engaged throughout'; and Vivek Kapoor is a key senior associate.

Handling complex, high-stakes, international commercial arbitrations and bilateral investment treaty disputes for multinational corporations and sovereign governments, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's 'excellent team' has particular experience in oil and gas, power generation and telecoms. In one of the first investor-state cases relating to IP investments, the team acted for Bridgestone in a dispute arising out of a Panamanian Supreme Court decision, which ordered Bridgestone to pay damages to a Panamanian tyre company for opposing a confusingly similar trade mark application. Justin Williams is 'very calm and helpful'. Other key advisers are Hamish Lal, Kambiz Larizadeh, Richard Hornshaw and counsel Jenny Arlington.

Baker Botts (UK) LLP 'presents very creative and focused cases and addresses challenging issues of contract interpretation, applicable law, and assessments of factual and expert evidence'. On the commercial side, the arbitration practice has particular industry knowledge in the energy and technology sectors; it also regularly acts in large and high-profile investor-state instructions. Global practice co-head Jay Alexander 'has complete command of the theory of his cases and argues them clearly, quietly, and convincingly, without histrionics'; and Alejandro Escobar 'moves seamlessly between English and Spanish'. Johannes Koepp is also a key adviser, while senior associate Dorine Farah  'ably assists'.

Baker McKenzie's international arbitration practice covers financial and M&A disputes; energy, mining, construction and infrastructure; and it fields lawyers with regional expertise in the Middle East and CIS. Steve Abraham leads the firm's London dispute resolution practice; John Leadley chairs the global dispute resolution team; Andy Moody  is'highly experienced'; Kate Corby is 'excellent, smart, focused and very adaptable'; and Ed Poulton is recommended for financial services and M&A-related disputes.

DLA Piper 'has huge strength in depth and operates brilliantly as a team'. The practice includes specialisms in energy, infrastructure and investment treaty disputes; has a significant public international law group; and is highly experienced in Africa-related work.  It advised on a series of SCC arbitration claims relating to the supply, pricing and transit of gas from Gazprom to Ukrainian supplier Naftogaz. Philip Chong is Europe international arbitration head; Kate Cervantes-Knox is 'a capable lawyer with considerable advocacy skills, who is impossible to intimidate and who really knows how to manage a big case and the team of people needed to run it';Jeremy Andrews 'has a razor-sharp legal brain', and the 'first-rate' of counsel Ben Sanderson is the global practice manager for the firm’s international arbitration group.  Also recommended are Mark Hilton, Richard McGrane, James Carter and Edward Shaw.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP recently hired Jeffrey Sullivan, who specialises in both commercial and investment treaty arbitration, from Allen & Overy LLP. Cyrus Benson and Penny Madden QC are the department heads; Benson has particular experience in telecoms, oil and gas and financial services disputes, while Madden is noted for shareholder, telecoms, media and international trade disputes, and has wide-ranging experience in investment treaty arbitration. Other key advisers are Osma Hudda, who has expertise in insurance and reinsurance claims, financial services disputes and claims arising out of divestments and delivery contracts in the oil industry; Doug Watson, who made equity partner in 2017, and of counsel Sarah Wazen, who is a bilateral investment treaty arbitration specialist.

HFW is highly rated for 'the range, strength and depth of its international arbitration practice, which stretches across all of the firm's sector-based groups'. The firm is well known for it experience in disputes involving international trade, energy, commodities, shipping and aviation, as well as insurance and reinsurance, banking and financial services, and construction. Damian Honey is 'an excellent, commercially-minded lawyer with realistic perspectives on the arbitration market'; Katie Pritchard  'has a wealth of experience of commodities-related arbitrations'; Alistair Feeney is 'a bright, knowledgeable and pragmatic lawyer'; Costas Frangeskides is 'excellent at client care'; and Steven Paull and international construction head Max Wieliczko are also key members. Paul Wordley joined EC3 Legal.

Mayer Brown International LLP's 'hugely experienced team' is widely recognised for its experience in international arbitrations in the construction sector, but the practice also advises clients in the  hotel and leisure, food, banking and finance, and manufacturing industries. Recent work includes acting for Fouad Alghanim & Sons in an ICSID arbitration against the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which was based on the bilateral investment treaty between Kuwait and Jordan. Raid Abu-Manneh is 'experienced, creative and liked by clients'. The other key advisers are Mark Stefanini, Kwadwo Sarkodie, Miles Robinson and Tom Duncan, while the notable senior associates are Rachael O’Grady, who 'develops an impressive understanding of clients' business', and Joseph Otoo.

Osborne Clarke LLP 'combines deep expertise of international arbitration with strong advice on strategic direction'. The practice regularly represents clients in the energy sector in international arbitrations and has a rare specialism in digital business arbitration. It is also noted for construction disputes, with a particular focus on the Middle East. Greg Fullelove is 'very bright, client focused and understands how to achieve results that meet clients' objectives'; and Adrian Lifely is 'a trusted and reliable senior statesman in the arbitration world'. Recent growth saw Rob Horne, who has projects arbitration expertise, and Russia and CIS disputes lawyer Artem Doudko, who is 'hard-working and creative in his approach', join from Simmons & Simmons and White & Case LLP, respectively.

Reed Smith LLP 'receives numerous high-profile, high-value, and cutting-edge instructions and its lawyers have amassed a great depth and strength of expertise and experience, which makes them both highly effective and a pleasure to work with'. The practice stands out for its focus on the energy, life sciences, entertainment and media, international trade and shipping, and financial services sectors. Belinda Paisley is 'an extraordinarily impressive lawyer, who possesses the rare combination of fantastic bigger-picture and strategic instincts as well as an extraordinary command of points of detail'. Other highly rated individuals are deputy global international arbitration heads Gautam Bhattacharyya and Vincent Rowan, Chloe Carswell, Alex Andrews and Shareena Edmonds.

Shearman & Sterling LLP is best known for high-profile, sensitive and high-value matters and the firm fields lawyers with significant investment treaty expertise. The practice represented Cairn Energy in its treaty claim against the Republic of India, under the UK-India bilateral investment treaty; the claim was brought in relation to India's adoption of a retroactive tax measure.Mark McNeill has a longstanding reputation for advising investors and respondent states in investment treaty disputes; Jeremy Sharpe and Alexander Uff are also highly rated, as is counsel Ximena Herrera-Bernal.

Slaughter and May is 'great for bet-the-company cases; the firm has excellent partners as well as a raft of fantastically smart, hard-working and down-to-earth associates and trainees'. The firm's international arbitration practice in relation to Africa continues to grow; other recent work involved fraud issues, contractual disputes, breach of warranty claims and energy sector disputes. Damian Taylor, who is 'bright and incisive' and the 'very impressive' James Stacey co-head the international arbitration group, and Sarah Lee is dispute resolution group head. Also key to the group is Efstathios Michael, who 'has an extraordinarily detailed understanding of his cases and impeccable judgement and strategic nous as to which points will hit home with tribunals'. Richard Clark retired from the firm, while Nick Gray joined international arbitration think tank, Newton Arbitration.

Addleshaw Goddard recently hired construction, engineering and environment disputes practitioner Gerlando Butera from Nabarro LLP's Singapore office. The practice acts in energy, construction and life sciences-related arbitrations and has extensive experience in enforcing arbitration awards. The team acted for a Thai investor in an investment arbitration brought under the 1987 ASEAN Comprehensive Investment Agreement, which concerned disputed property rights. Simon Kamstra  is international arbitration head; Jon Tweedale has a focus on energy and life sciences; Sarah Vasani is London head of investor state disputes; Mark Molyneux leads the firm's Africa group; and Jonathan Tattersall heads up the Japan desk, representing major construction contractors in the Asia Pacific region.

Arnold & Porter 'has a very strong international arbitration practice; the top-notch team's experience and knowledge allows it to advise on complex legal issues and develop comprehensive strategies'. The practice acts in both investor-state and commercial arbitrations; David Reed is 'a hard working and diligent lawyer who is well focused and knowledgeable'; and 'dedicated to his clients'; Patricio Grané Labat is 'an exceptional lawyer, particularly with respect to case management and co-ordinating coherent and effective strategies'; and Dmitri Evseev acts for sovereign states in investor-state arbitrations under various bilateral investment treaties and the Energy Charter Treaty.

Bird & Bird LLP is handling an increasing number of large and complex arbitrations and its team is increasingly focusing on both commercial and investment treaty arbitration. The team regularly acts in arbitrations in the energy, technology and communications, financial services, life sciences and sport sectors as well as fraud-related matters. Garreth Wong is 'an excellent advocate who is able to get to grips with large, complex cases quickly'. Sophie Eyre is also highly regarded.

Boies Schiller Flexner (UK) LLP is 'clearly a leading firm for international arbitration, with a very talented and experienced set of lawyers'. The team represented one of Russia’s most prominent businessmen in a high-profile investor-state claim against the State of Montenegro under the Russia-Montenegro bilateral investment treaty, which concerns an investment in an aluminium smelter. Dominic Roughton is 'an impressive practitioner who is experienced and has sound judgement'. Kenneth Beale is 'a quick thinker who is very experienced in handling complex high-value arbitrations'. Also recommended are Will Hooker, counsel Nathalie Allen Prince, who  is 'very smart and hardworking', and associate David Hunt, who is'a very competent lawyer who is attentive to detail'.

Cooley (UK) LLP's 'lawyers stand out due to their¬†exceptional experience in the field of international investment law and their commitment to accomplish the best result for their clients'. The practice covers¬†international¬†commercial arbitration work, including¬†oil and gas exploration matters,¬†licensing rights in the Middle East, technology licensing rights, bio‚Äźsciences and product testing disputes, and international supply agreements. It also acts in¬†investment treaty arbitrations and¬†insurance and reinsurance-related¬†arbitrations.¬†James Maton¬†is London litigation head;¬†Mark Everiss¬†focuses on reinsurance litigation; and¬†Mark Deem¬†is 'a tough negotiator, but brings valuable commercial¬† perspective to the dispute resolution process at the right time'. Other key contacts are David Kendall,¬†Kevin Perry¬†¬†and James Crabtree.¬†Special counsels¬†Christophe Bondy, who¬†'has incredibly deep experience of investor-state arbitration', and¬†public international law specialist¬†Joshua Brien¬†joined from¬†Volterra Fietta¬†and The¬†Commonwealth Secretariat, respectively.

Dentons 'consistently performs well for its clients; the team is well known for its skills and experience in this field'. Alongside its high-value commercial arbitration practice, the firm maintains a significant investment treaty and investor-state arbitration practice, acting on behalf of investors and sovereign states; and its international expertise includes Africa, the Middle East, Asia Pacific, and Central and Eastern Europe and CIS. Liz Tout is UK international arbitration and dispute resolution head. Dominic Pellew, who divides his time between London and Moscow, 'has the ability to preview the consequences of different steps and to estimate the risks'. Dan Bodle and counsel Matthew Vinall are other key contacts, and senior associates James Langley  and Catherine Gilfedder are 'very good'. Michelle Bradfield  joined Dechert LLP.

Enyo Law LLP is 'a highly impressive outfit that always has an eye on the best commercial outcome for clients'. The conflict-free, specialist litigation and arbitration law firm has e xtensive international experience in securing and enforcing judgments and international arbitral awards around the world. Energy sector specialist Anna Maxwell 'really listens to her clients'; recently promoted Tim Elliss is 'a strong litigator who has a good understanding of the issues and is excellent at handling clients'; and Marcus Rutherford is 'fantastic - he is extremely knowledgeable and practical and gives clients all the reassurance they need'. George Maling and recently promoted Jonathan Brook are also highly rated. Former of counsel Rémy Gerbay joined MoloLamken LLP in New York.

Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP's practice has particular experience in the energy, infrastructure and trade sectors and regularly acts in disputes arising out of joint venture, corporate and M&A and shareholder issues. Jonathan Leach is UK international arbitration and public international law head; and recently promoted Greg Falkof is 'an excellent advocate who has complete mastery of detail'. Neville Byford  is also highly rated.

Fieldfisher's team is 'hardworking and diligent, with some fantastic younger rising stars'. The international arbitration team is best known for acting in high-value commercial and investor-state arbitrations for and against ultra-high-net-worth individuals and corporates from the Russia and CIS region. Simon Moore heads the international arbitration practice. Other key figures include Colin Gibson, who is dispute resolution head, recently promoted Daniel Hayward, who is 'one of the most prominent upcoming stars in this area', Simon Sloane, Alexandra Underwood and Tracey Wright.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson (London) LLP is 'commercial and responsive and the quality of its legal advice is second to none'. The practice's scope includes banking and financial services disputes; cases involving Russia and former CIS countries; and joint venture and breach of warranty claims. James Kitching is 'knowledgeable, instils trust and confidence and is very commercial' and Justin Michaelson is 'a lawyer in his own league who is absolutely focused and capable of handling various complex disputes'. The key senior associates are Leigh Mallon, who 'has strong strategic and analytical skills and knows what clients want', and Duncan Saunders.

Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP's 'excellent team' received a significant boost with the hire of Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP 's international arbitration group in June 2018. This team is led by 'very experienced and capable' partner Melanie Willems who focuses on the energy, engineering and construction sectors, and also includes partner Markus Esly, who is rated by clients as 'very thorough and organised and a good team player', Robert Blackett (counsel) and Ryan Deane (associate). They add to a group that previously had an emphasis on marine construction projects, particularly those involving the offshore oil and gas industry. Partners in the original Haynes and Boone team include William Cecil, James Brown, who is 'highly attentive and keeps clients informed'; and Glenn Kangisser who 'stands out for his heavyweight experience in the energy sector'. Andreas Dracoulis is also a key name.

Andrews Kurth Kenyon and Hunton & Williams recently merged to form Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP, which has 'a well-organised team of highly capable lawyers who do a lot of their own advocacy'. The firm's ranking here is based on the combination of the two teams, which created a practice with clients in the energy and construction sector, alongside finance, aviation, hospitality, pharmaceuticals and insurance sectors. However, it suffered a blow in June 2018 when international arbitration head Melanie Willems  left for Haynes and Boone CDG, LLP with a team including partner Markus Esly and counsel Robert Blackett.

Jones Day 'has world-class specialists with broad reach and great understanding of clients’ needs'. Lee Coffey led the successful representation of Ageas, as one of the defendants, in a Paris ICC arbitration; the matter involved an indemnification claim based on a consortium and shareholders' agreement arising from a large banking acquisition. Sion Richards heads the global disputes practice in London; Baiju Vasani is 'a superb strategist and achieves the best outcome for his clients'; recently promoted Sylvia Tonova represents investors and states in commercial and investor-state arbitrations; and of counsel Tatiana Minaeva is particularly experienced in Russia and CIS-related disputes.

K&L Gates LLP 'does an outstanding job in very difficult situations'. The London international arbitration team has worked on cases involving insurance coverage, construction, pharmaceuticals, sports and investor-state matters; in 2017, the team was particularly active in energy, infrastructure and resources-related arbitrations. Ian Meredith co-ordinates the firm’s global arbitration practice; other names to note are John Magnin, Peter Morton, Clarissa Coleman and recently promoted Martin King. John Gilbert joined Bracewell (UK) LLP. 

KWM Europe LLP 'has a great arbitration practice' that acts in high-value commercial arbitrations involving construction, international trade, energy and financial services disputes, as well as telecoms and media, retail and banking matters. Andrei Yakovlev's ’s practice covers both investor-state and commercial arbitration; Dorothy Murray is experienced in acting for clients from Russia and the CIS and for government clients; and managing associate Wilson Antoon has a particular focus on investment treaty arbitration.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP 'has an excellent team, is very thorough and pays great attention to detail'. The team has experience across ad hoc and institutional arbitration proceedings under a variety of arbitral rules and governing laws, including ICC, LCIA and bi-lateral investment treaties.Maria Frangeskides, who is 'superb at seeing the client’s needs and requirements as a whole, and not merely the litigation', has particular expertise in energy-related disputes, including gas and oil supply and transit matters; and senior associate Amanda Voss is 'very thorough, and fights hard for the client'. Energy disputes specialist Mark Beeley was hired from Vinson & Elkins RLLP.

RPC's 'overall service is excellent'. The team acts in arbitrations involving construction and engineering, international trade, finance, transport, IP, energy, insurance and reinsurance. Jonathan Wood leads the international arbitration practice; Wood is 'very experienced in all forms of international arbitration - he is calm, professional and has very good judgment'. Other key advisers are Stuart Shepherd, a commodity disputes expert, and Andy McGregor, who acts in finance-related disputes and those emanating from Russia and CIS and Middle East markets.

Signature Litigation LLP 'has a strong and experienced arbitration team'. The practice has substantial experience acting for clients in high-value, complex international arbitrations; and is particularly noted for disputes work involving Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. The key contacts are Natalia Chumak, Ioannis Alexopoulos, Adam Rooney and Josh Wong. Counsel Neil Newing, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP, and senior associate Nick Storrs are also highly regarded.

Squire Patton Boggs is 'enthusiastically recommended for its outstanding service, including quick responses, deep knowledge of the market and great legal authority'. It has a significant track record for investor treaty disputes and energy arbitration, including acting for buyers in natural gas price review disputes. The practice also has experience in international commercial arbitrations involving technology, telecoms, and distribution and transportation. Global international dispute resolution head George von Mehren, who divides time between London and Cleveland, 'has profound experience and skill, especially in strategy and tactics as well as full comprehension of clients' needs'; Peter Crossley is London international dispute resolution head; James Barratt 'cannot be recommended highly enough'; Alexis Martinez is 'professional and competent'; and Ben Holland  is 'an energy arbitration specialist'.

'A boutique firm that regularly outguns its larger competitors', Stewarts Law LLP provides a largely conflict-free service in commercial arbitration matters to clients across the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Africa; and the practice's sector specialisms include energy and power projects, cross-border trade and investment, and defence. International arbitration department head Philippa Charles is 'super-intelligent, has flawless tactical nous and is an ever- popular choice both as counsel and arbitrator'. Ian Gatt QC is 'a superb lawyer who contributes immensely to a case's successful outcome'. Matthew Knowles is also highly rated, and associate Veronica Connolly is 'an excellent attorney, well versed in the applicable law and very capable and competent'. Al Trent relocated to Jamaica.

Vinson & Elkins RLLP 'meets the highest professional standards, respects strict deadlines and is open minded and responsive; the team also has deep knowledge of international legislation as well as focusing on important case details'. It is best known for energy-related disputes but the practice has also acted in mining, healthcare, telecoms and construction-related matters as well as investor-state cases. In one of the largest construction arbitrations of recent times, Nick Henchie, whose 'skills are outstanding and who gives invaluable strategic advice', led advice to Italian energy services company Saipem on an ICC claim it brought against a Gazprom entity over a terminated contract to build the South Stream gas pipeline between Russia and southern Europe. The 'diligent' and recently promoted Louise Woods is 'particularly strong'; Susanna Fidoe is a key counsel; and Alexander Slade is a notable senior associate. George Burn joined Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner LLP, while  Mark Beeley exited for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe (Europe) LLP.

Watson Farley & Williams LLP 'has a strong international arbitration practice that is highly professional and experienced'. The commercial arbitration practice is best known for its expertise in finance, shipping, energy, offshore construction, and commodities-related disputes, and is complemented by a growing profile in the investment treaty arbitration sector. Andrew Savage, alongside the firm's Rome office, acted for a Luxembourg investor in relation to ICSID proceedings against the Italian State pursuant to the Energy Charter Treaty. Andrew Ward is 'extremely clever and pays close attention to detail'; Andrew Hutcheon is 'very calm, thoughtful and measured, and thinks issues through to determine where particular courses of action are likely to lead'; and Rob Fidoe is 'very experienced in working with international clients'. Charles Buss and recently promoted Rebecca Williams are also key advisers.

Winston & Strawn London LLP's 'established team is first-rate in sometimes difficult circumstances'. A substantial part of the London's group includes the representation of clients in large-scale infrastructure disputes as well as cases involving traditional and renewable energy power, and transportation projects. The London team is led by Michael Stepek and Matthew Bate; Stepek led advice to Rolling Vista Ventures  in an arbitration proceeding under the Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre arbitration rules, which arose out of a master investment and shareholder agreement. Ricardo Ugarte divides time between Chicago and London; and senior associate Daniel Meagher is 'a standout arbitration lawyer and a very strong operator'. Other key advisers are of counsel Kseniya Elfimova, who divides her time between London and Brussels, and associate Shayan Farhad.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP 'performs a perfect service in every possible way'. The practice was counsel to Telecom Italia International and Telecom Italia in an investment-related ICC arbitration in Paris, brought by various parties in the Opportunity group of companies. Christopher Moore is 'a master of evidence procedures'; and Jonathan Kelly and Jonathan Blackman, who divides time between London and New York, are also experienced advisers. James Norris Jones joined from Herbert Smith Freehills LLP.

DAC Beachcroft LLP fields specialist teams in insurance disputes, commercial dispute resolution and construction disputes. The firm's arbitration specialism spreads from Asia across Europe to Latin America, and it recently opened a representative office in New York, with a view to conducting arbitrations in the wider American market. The principal advisers are Ken Forsyth, Anthony Menzies, Julian Miller, Michael Blackburne and consultant Rowan Planterose. Matthew Wescott departed for Carter-Ruck.

Fenwick Elliott LLP 'has an outstanding practice in the construction sector of the international arbitration market; and it has  a number of very shrewd tacticians as partners and a large team of hardworking and knowledgeable assistants'. Its construction law expertise also includes engineering and energy-related matters. Richard Smellie is 'an excellent strategic thinker and brilliant at managing large teams on big cases'; and Nicholas Gould is 'extremely good - he is very convincing during hearings at drilling down the issues to the core'. Other recommended advisers are Jeremy Glover and Karen Gidwani.

Gowling WLG's 'ability massively outstrips its reputation in the market and its rates are remarkable given the Magic Circle-level quality of the work'. The practice has particularly strong sector experience in IP, technology and life sciences, natural resources, and construction and engineering. Highlights include acting for a UAE-based independent oil company in an ad hoc arbitration, which arose under a long-term gas supply agreement. Gordon Bell heads the international arbitration practice; David Breslin  and the 'fantastic' director Karen O’Connell are also highly regarded. Michael Darowski joined from Hogan Lovells International LLP.

Jenner & Block LLP's 'service is first rate and the advice is top quality'. The team acts in cross-border commercial and investment arbitrations in seats all over the world and it has particular strength in the enforcement of arbitral awards in foreign jurisdictions. Co-global international arbitration chair Charlie Lightfoot 'transforms clients' needs into something that adds value to claims'; and Jason Yardley and recently promoted James Woolrich are 'great strategists'.

Mishcon de Reya LLP hired Ben Giaretta, the former Asia arbitration practice head in Ashurst LLP's Singapore office. The firm acts in complex, high-value and significant arbitration cases, both in the commercial and investor-state arbitration fields; it acted for RSM Production Corporation in an international arbitration against the Government of Saint Lucia in relation to the termination of an oil concession. Karel Daele heads the firm's arbitration practice; Kasra Nouroozi  is dispute resolution head; and Zachary Segal is a notable legal director.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP's 'excellent team' has a focus on energy, manufacturing and aviation sector matters as well as Middle East matters. Ned Beale leads the firm's international arbitration team; 'Beale and his team are able to navigate international arbitrations efficiently and diligently'. Alex Burton co-heads the firm's international dispute management practice; based in London Burton also spends a substantial amount of time in the firm's Dubai and Bahrain offices. David Grant, who previously sat as the Technology and Construction Court's judge in Birmingham, joined the London office as consultant.

Volterra Fietta is best known for its specialist public international law practice; the firm also has a robust international commercial arbitration practice that involves the energy, mining and telecoms sectors as well as defence procurement and shareholder and joint venture disputes. The names to note are Robert Volterra, Graham Coop, Giorgio Mandelli and Suzanne Spears. Christophe Bondy joined Cooley (UK) LLP.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges (London) LLP's 'international reach and huge breadth of experience really shine through'. The team acted for 1Malaysia Development Berhad in a large LCIA arbitration, which concerned the alleged misappropriation of $3.5bn. Jamie Maples 'combines arbitration work with a busy High Court practice, such combination allowing him to advise with equal confidence in arbitration matters and the satellite court proceedings that often accompany them'; and senior associate Matthew Akers and associate Hayley Lund are 'both rising stars in the field'. The former co-head of disputes, Hannah Field-Lowes, joined White & Case LLP.

Withers LLP 'has demonstrated a mastery of the law and practice in this field'. The international arbitration group is jointly led by Hussein Haeri and Eleni Polycarpou. The investor-state arbitration practice  acts in Middle East and Africa matters, particularly in the infrastructure and energy sectors; the firm also has a robust commercial arbitration practice involving parties from CIS countries, as well as related jurisdictions such as Cyprus and the BVI. The 'practical and solutions-driven' Haeri is 'outstanding; he has both a strong understanding of the law and an excellent client-handling manner'. Tatiana Menshenina is also a key contact.

Cooke, Young & Keidan LLP is 'now well-established in this field and has a reputation for innovative and cost-effective ways'. The practice has substantial experience of conducting arbitrations under all the major institutional rules. The recently promoted Daniel Burbeary 'has a wealth of experience'; Marc Keidan and Sinead O'Callaghan are also key contacts.

Crowell & Moring has substantial experience in investor-state and commercial arbitration. Adrian Jones' practice focuses on the oil and gas, mining, construction, and financial services sectors.

DWF hired Richard Twomey, who focuses on technology and energy based disputes, from Pinsent Masons LLP. He joins a team that includes Jonathan Moss, whose practice includes arbitration in the marine, non-marine and reinsurance sectors. Stefan Paciorek, Antony Woodhouse and John Groome are also recommended.

Fietta LLP fields 'a stellar group of lawyers who can turn to arbitration nicely, particularly investment arbitration'. The practice acted for PL Holdings in treaty arbitration proceedings brought against the Republic of Poland; the dispute concerned the expropriation of a bank. Stephen Fietta QC is 'very good' and Jiries Saadeh is a highly rated counsel.

Fox Williams LLP's predominant industry sectors for international arbitration are commodities, energy, medical and pharmaceuticals, and transport and distribution. Gavin Foggo and Tom Custance  are 'great tacticians'; and Peter Ashford  is 'very experienced'.

Gide Loyrette Nouel LLP acts in proceedings in both English and French and has arbitration expertise in Africa, particularly regarding infrastructure projects, energy and natural resources, telecoms and other industrial joint ventures. Rupert Reece is 'highly experienced in international arbitration, with an intelligent and thoughtful approach to legal disputes'.

Macfarlanes LLP 'gives first-rate legal and strategic advice that is well suited to the idiosyncrasies of international arbitration'. The practice primarily encompasses banking, investment, energy, aviation and transport disputes as well as construction and engineering, and advertising matters. Lois Horne is 'fantastic'; and Simon Nurney is 'a stand out in terms of strategy and negotiation'. James Popperwell, Geoff Steward  and in-house silk Guy Morpuss QC are also highly regarded.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP has handled arbitrations involving electricity, natural gas, insurance and transportation, as well as mining concessions, joint venture agreements and construction concessions. Tom Canning is highly rated and Cormac Alexander  is a notable special counsel.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius UK LLP is 'a firm that knows what it is doing'. It advises on complex, high-value arbitrations involving insurance, finance, technology, and energy sector clients; it also assists with arbitration proceedings relating to Bermuda Form policies. The names to note are 'standout partner' David Waldron and Nicholas Greenwood.

O'Melveny's David Foster has particular experience handling disputes in the technology, professional services and financial services sectors; he also has expertise in investment treaty law and arbitration.Margarita Michael is a highly rated counsel and former counsel Hayley Ichilcik joined King & Spalding LLP.

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP recruited Deborah Ruff from Norton Rose Fulbright to lead the firm's global arbitration practice and spearhead the disputes practice in the EMEA region. The practice advises on claims in industries such as insurance, energy, infrastructure, chemicals and construction, along with the mining and commodities and telecoms sectors.

SCA ONTIER LLP 'does some fantastic work'. Recent high-value instructions derived from Africa, the Middle East, Russia and Latin America. Seamus Andrew is managing partner; Paul Ferguson 'has a nose for what the right answer is'; and Oliver Cain 'has a very loyal client basis'.

Steptoe & Johnson UK LLP has strong investment treaty experience in relation to African and Eastern European cases; it is also active in international commercial arbitration involving financial institutions. Matthew Coleman is highly rated and Angus Rodger is 'excellent for strong strategical thinking'.


Mediators

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Mediators clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Clyde & Co LLP's Jane Andrewartha is 'excellent; she is calm, steely, super-smart and utterly committed to helping both sides to find a resolution'. In addition to her extensive insurance and reinsurance practice Andrewartha allocates two days per week to mediation; and in addition to her insurance and reinsurance knowledge, she has experience of a wide range of the industries serviced by reinsurers, such as financial services, marine and energy, aviation, construction and the professions, as well as employment issues and contractual and agency matters. Andrewartha also specialises in high-value cross-border disputes and has mediated disputes in the US, the Middle East, the Far East and in Europe, most recently Norway, Greece and Paris.

CEDR Chambers' principal mediator Eileen Carroll QC (Hon) 'has an excellent manner and proves particularly effective in dealing with banking customers who are distressed or particularly in need of reassurance; and her careful case analysis coupled with a reassuring manner help produce excellent settlements'. Spending over 200 days mediating in 2017, Carroll is one of the most requested mediators on CEDR Chambers' global panel of 200 mediators. Representative work includes the resolution of highly complex multi-party disputes in financial services (including banking and insurance), IT and telecoms, and the public sector; she has also mediated matters involving property, employment, infrastructure, pensions, partnerships and IP. Recent highlights include a commercial contract mediation resulting from various disputes between a Central European company and its London-based parent company, which arose in relation to an outsourcing services agreement for analytical services; a longstanding IP matter involving distribution agreements and the breakdown of a joint venture; and claims in relation to the provisions of engineering services for the design, engineering, procurement, construction testing, and commissioning of a carbon steel pipeline.

Colin Russ (Independent) is 'a favourite mediator for many clients; he is thorough, hardworking and painstaking in pursuing a settlement; he is also particularly appreciated for the courteous, yet firm and pragmatic way with which he deals with the parties'. Russ is highly rated for his successful resolution of disputes relating to commercial contracts, shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence, real estate and the financial services sector as well as disputes arising from IP rights and employment law.

Independent Mediators' 'genial' Charles Dodson 'combines excellent and wide-ranging technical background with a determined ability to instil quietly and confidently an air of practical realism in any mediation; he is also charming and energetic, doesn’t get bogged down in detail and constantly strives to keep things moving in a positive direction'. In 2017, Dodson was particularly busy mediating cases relating to professional negligence claims involving solicitors, surveyors, valuers and other construction professionals, financial advisers and insurance brokers; the balance of Dodson's mediations were spread between construction, insurance and partnership, but he also mediated disputes in pensions, probate, insolvency, freight handling, franchising, inheritance, engineering, farm tenancy, government contract, software design, distribution and agency agreements, and business sales.

'Highly recommended to those thinking about mediation', Phillip Howell-Richardson at Independent Mediators 'comes across as very calm and approachable and has a very good bedside manner'. Others report him to be 'an excellent mediator with a disarming and effective style as well as being always diligent, resourceful and excellent with clients'. Howell-Richardson has over 28 years experience of mediating the most complex cases in the UK and internationally.  His workload covers commercial claims, banking and finance, professional negligence and insurance; he has also mediated disputes involving IP and IT, employment, partnerships, property and construction, and probate.

In Place of Strife’s head of chambers Mark Jackson-Stops 'has a wonderful way of putting clients at their ease; he gets to grips quickly with the relevant issues, tests points in an incisive but not threatening manner and guides parties towards a resolution'. One of the UK’s most experienced mediators, Jackson-Stops has conducted over 1,400 mediations; he frequently acts in cases involving the insurance market, including coverage issues, breach of conditions, professional negligence, property damage and business interruption. Other areas of strength include construction and financial services, while  his 'knowledge of land and agricultural matters is a particular asset when dealing with disputes involving such matters or parties with that background'.

Independent Mediators' 'calm, considered and prepared'  Kate Jackson  is 'excellent in pointing out weaknesses without prejudicing her independence; she focuses on the commercial benefits of reaching a settlement and the fact that both parties need to move from their preferred positions in order to bridge gaps'. A full time mediator since 2009, Jackson recently mediated over 50 complex commercial mediations in a one-year period, with her clients ranging from large public and international companies to individuals with personal grievances. Examples of her expertise include commercial, banking and employment disputes as well as insurance, insolvency, property and IP-related matters.

At Independent Mediators, Michel Kallipetis QC's  'experience is unrivalled; he is a senior statesman in the UK mediation market whose gravitas as well as legal expertise puts parties at ease and naturally diffuses tensions'. Kallipetis' recent mediation experience involved professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, architects and other construction professionals, financial advisers and insurance brokers; he also mediated claims involving construction, oil and gas, insurance, property, commercial, employment, fraud, insolvency, partnerships, personal injury, and probate.

At In Place of Strife, Jon Lang is 'fully engaged, prepares well and is able to assist in unlocking the difficult position of certain parties; he is also not deterred by lack of progress and perseveres with parties to consider alternative settlement offer structures to break deadlocks - through his hard work settlements are achieved'. A former disputes partner at White & Case LLP, Lang regularly mediates two or three cases each week across the full spectrum of commercial matters, but mediation work involving property, professional negligence, insolvency, banking, partnership and shareholder disputes (particularly minority shareholder actions) were recent growth areas. Lang is also increasingly instructed in complex multi-party and multi-jurisdictional cases, many necessitating pre-mediation meetings with parties alone or jointly.

The former chairman of Blake Lapthorn (now Blake Morgan LLP),  Jonathan Lloyd-Jones at Independent Mediators is 'a very intelligent dispute resolver who is able to grasp complex and detailed information very quickly and takes control of the  mediation without being overbearing; he is also a highly charming individual who makes what can often be a fraught experience relatively painless'. Lloyd-Jones has acted in approximately 600 appointments during his mediation career and his practice covers a wide range of commercial topics, including claims for restitution based on fraud; breaches of restrictive covenants by departing employees; and professional negligence claims against solicitors, accountants, architects, surveyors, independent financial advisers, and insurance brokers. He is also often involved in insolvency, construction and property matters.

Independent Mediators’ Mark Lomas QC is 'one of the best mediators around; he has gravitas and quickly gets to the heart of what has to be done to resolve a dispute and  is dogged in seeking a settlement, often going well beyond his original brief if permitted by the parties to do so'. One of the UK’s busiest commercial mediators, Lomas averages 90 mediations a year; he regularly acts as sole or lead mediator in mediations, covering a wide variety of disputes in areas including commercial contract, professional negligence (against solicitors, accountants, architects, financial advisers and insurance brokers), insurance, banking and financial services, general common law disputes, construction, probate, and trusts.

Dr Karl Mackie CBE of CEDR Chambers 'has emotional intelligence and quickly appreciates the dynamics between the parties, while his calm and understated manner quickly engenders trust with the parties; he is also approachable, rigorous and determined to achieve a settlement if at all possible'. Mackie's experience ranges from leading complex class actions and multi-party disputes, to handling commercial and regulatory disputes with national and international implications; his recent work includes international commercial disputes, professional negligence, engineering and energy, technology, and healthcare. Other areas include partnerships, family businesses, finance and banking, insurance, insolvency, joint ventures, property and media. Recent highlights include acting in a dispute involving large technology companies that wished to adopt new technology for mobile phone networks; the claim was for an alleged failure of software and services. He also mediated a partnership breakup, including a claim for part of the sales price and subsequent dividends on sales.

Independent Mediators' 'thoroughly recommended' Bill Marsh is 'excellent; he combines a strong intellect with a pragmatic, commercial manner, and deals with difficult and highly sensitive situations with pragmatism, tact and good humour'. Marsh's mediation practice covers a broad range of commercial disputes (both UK and internationally), including commercial contracts, product liability, insurance and reinsurance, and professional negligence claims. Additional areas of expertise include shareholder, sports, medical negligence, pensions, IT and shipping disputes.

At In Place of Strife, Charles Middleton-Smith's 'style is of quiet persistence and urbane professionalism; he remains calm and polite at all times, but he gets his point across with a combination of blunt analysis and an ability to get people to focus on commercial priorities'. Middleton-Smith is focused on media and entertainment, family business and trusts (including offshore trusts) as well as financial services, property, insurance and education. He recently mediated a case involving disability discrimination.

Independent Mediators' Andrew Paton 'has an engaging but firm style and does not take any nonsense; he is always on top of the documents, identifies the key issues, keeps mediations moving at a good pace, never gives up, and will remain involved even if the parties do not settle on the day'. Paton undertook a total of 54 mediations in 2017, with just under half of the mediations relating to professional negligence claims involving solicitors, barristers, accountants, architects and other construction professionals, financial advisers and insurance brokers. The balance of his work was evenly spread between construction, insurance, property and commercial matters, but Paton has also mediated unfair prejudice, employment, public law, insolvency and Inheritance Act cases.

Independent Mediators' Nicholas Pryor 'really impresses with his ability to cut through difficult situations and get parties talking; he is extremely commercial and parties are made very aware of the financial implications of continuing with claims and the risks involved. He also spends considerable time on the phone to parties in advance of mediations to tee matters up, meaning that parties can really make the most of the mediating day when Nicholas focuses minds on settlement'. Pryor has been appointed in over 1,250 mediations during his mediation career and over half of his practice covers a range of UK-based and international commercial issues, with a further 25 per cent involving insurance and professional negligence matters.

'A supreme people person who has fantastic interaction skills and a good commercial mind', Quentin Smith (Independent) 'has a nuanced and flexible approach and is able to adapt as the case requires; one of the great advantages of this flexibility is that he is able to gain the trust of the parties at an early stage of the process and is able to drive the mediation process forward towards an early settlement, rather than losing the early hours of the mediation as many other mediators have a tendency to do'. Smith recently undetook 57 mediations in a 12-month period; work highlights include a dispute over a distributorship and service agreement between a German manufacturer and a Chinese company; a matter arising from an undocumented partnership, created by the patriarchs of two family dynasties; and a 12-party dispute over a disparate and valuable estate containing businesses, an industrial park and properties that concerned arguments over shareholdings and the management of minors’ interests.

Serle Court's Beverly-Ann Rogers is also a member of In Place of Strife. Her recent case examples include a breach of trust claim involving a Lebanese estate and trusts, American corporations and Canadian real estate; state and probate claims including disputed wills, Inheritance Act claims and proprietary estoppel; and professional negligence claims against solicitors and dentists. Rogers also mediated property claims, including joint residential property and commercial property investment disputes; partnership matters concerning farming partnership and land disputes; and company and shareholder cases.

Brick Court Chambers's Stephen Ruttle QC, who is also a member of In Place of Strife, 'brings the experience that clients would expect from one of the top mediators in the business and clients are left impressed'. Ruttle practises predominantly in London, but also mediates regularly in other parts of the UK and Ireland and in several jurisdictions abroad; and he is increasingly active as a mediator of community and faith-based disputes. Recent highlights include mediating a large construction dispute between high-profile Asian entities; he also mediates a high proportion of large shipping disputes.

'Playing out his role very articulately, fairly and confidently', In Place of Strife 's  Patrick Walker is 'a very professional mediator who is measured and well versed in legal principles and he fully appreciates and delivers to the client the commerciality of settlement over litigation'. Typically mediating two or three times a week, Walker's clients include PLCs, developers, government departments, statutory undertakers, banks, professional indemnity clients and a cross-section of corporate and private clients; he mediates in a range of disputes, including professional negligence, contentious probate, share purchases and construction.

Tony Willis of Brick Court Chambers is a former Clifford Chance LLP litigation practice head who has conducted over 1000 mediations to date. His mediations have included disputes involving professional negligence, shareholder and M&A disputes, partnerships, pensions and IT matters. Other areas include employment, family trusts, insolvency, tax, construction, insurance and reinsurance, among others.

Brick Court Chambers’ 'extraordinarily well-prepared' William Wood QC is 'such an effective mediator because he is extremely cerebral and, at the same time, immensely modest; he is able to bring enormous scholarship to bear in a manner which gains the utmost respect of the parties, but does so in a way that is extremely self-effacing and that does not intimidate the parties'. Wood handles approximately 75-80 disputes a year; his practice embraces business disputes of all kinds but he is particularly focused on insurance, banking, oil and gas, construction and engineering, product liability and professional negligence. In 2017, Wood mediated in Mexico City, Johannesburg, Hong Kong, Geneva, Singapore and New York, as well as throughout the UK. Recent work included an oil rig fire insurance claim in an overseas jurisdiction; a dispute over family business and assets worth approximately $10bn; and an excess loss reinsurance dispute arising out of product liabilities and pollution exposure.

3 Verulam Buildings’ Elizabeth Birch, who is also at In Place of Strife, is 'an outstanding mediator; her style is one of warmth and understanding but allied to a steely determination and willingness to persevere, which means that she enjoys a very good success rate, even in the apparently insoluble case'. Birch has successfully conducted over 250 mediations in commercial and cross-border disputes; she specialises in international and commercial disputes involving shipping, oil and gas, insurance and reinsurance, international distributorship and franchise, banking and finance, joint ventures, IT and telecoms.

In Place of Strife's Stuart Chapman is 'very impressive in the way in which he handles difficult mediations; he not only understands the legal and factual issues in dispute but what each party needs from the day and he works hard to get a deal done'. Mediating full-time since 2008, Chapman has mediated disputes involving contracts, pensions, probate, banking and finance, and employment issues.

CEDR Chambers' Fiona Colquhoun is 'very good at getting results and at going the extra mile where necessary; she makes what is pretty difficult look relatively easy and she instils confidence in the ability of a mediation to deliver, which is often exactly what the clients need'. Colquhoun's practice includes commercial law, discrimination, partnership, education, healthcare (particularly NHS funding and clinical negligence cases), employment and workplace, IT, and shareholder disputes; she also mediates group disputes and is well known for her work with particularly emotional, sensitive claims and claimants as well as mental health cases.

With 'a user-friendly and commercial style that is well received', In Place of Strife's Chris Fitton is 'a reliable mediator whose genuine and personable approach during mediation is very useful for bridging the gap between parties'. In 2017, Fitton mediated cases involving professional indemnity, pensions, financial services, public sector disputes and insolvency.

39 Essex Chambers' Edwin Glasgow CBE QC is 'very charming but also very authoritative and persuasive; he looks for areas that will provoke settlement'. Glasgow  specialises in the resolution of substantial and complex financial, commercial and construction disputes and professional negligence matters.

Heather Allen (Independent) has a varied mediation practice ranging from shareholder difficulties, inheritance claims, charity and trustee disputes and personal matters between individuals or teams, to commercial contract claims, including e-markets, scientific products and services, and distributor disputes; she also mediates high-value, complex employment claims, which involve discrimination, harassment, victimisation, equal pay claims, defamation and personal injury issues. Allen is also increasingly instructed in clinical negligence disputes.

Keating Chambers' Rosemary Jackson QC is 'simply great'. Jackson is a highly rated mediator for construction, engineering, energy and offshore disputes, particularly multi-party disputes, private finance initiative claims and insurance cases.

'A mediator of choice for complex and high-value disputes', Paul Johnson at Exchange Chambers in Manchester 'understands complex factual and legal issues and has an enviable ability to digest and recall the facts of the matter being mediated'. In 2017, Johnson undertook approximately 60 mediations; his recent key areas of work were shareholder and partnership disputes, professional negligence, banking, inheritance and probate, and insolvency.

'One of the elite mediators for property disputes', The Property Mediators Jacqui Joyce  is 'one of the best mediators around; she has a wry sense of humour and a gentle, disarming way of goading reluctant parties towards a settlement that is in their common interest'. Joyce handled 53 mediations in 2017; she mediates complex multi-party mediations involving high-profile corporations, public bodies, litigants in person and vulnerable individuals.

In Place of Strife's Lawrence Kershen QC is 'wise, concerned, committed, astute and fully wins the confidence of clients and fellow professionals'. Kershen's mediation experience includes commercial contracts, banking and financial services, construction, defamation, engineering, inheritance, insurance, IP and  manufacturing. He also has experience in mediating media, partnership, professional negligence, property and shareholding disputes.

Now joint group header of 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square's mediation group, Colin Manning is 'very versatile, always calm and well prepared. He is happy to challenge all parties but always remains neutral and works very hard to get cases across the line; and in the rare event the mediation doesn’t settle, Colin remains available to continue negotiations in the days following'. Manning mediates in a broad range of commercial disputes, including contract, professional negligence, partnership, company and shareholder disputes. Other areas of strength include construction, employment, property and landlord and tenant, trusts and probate.

Also a partner at specialist dispute resolution law firm Spenser Underhill Newmark LLP, CEDR Chambers' Christopher Newmark is 'hugely experienced and deserving of his reputation. Meticulous and bringing the right level of touch to the process, he is also good at judging when to put pressure on parties and effectively follows up'. Newmark has mediated over 200 cases; he specialises in large commercial disputes and is particularly well known for mediating in the IT and telecoms sectors and in international cases where arbitration proceedings are pending or may be issued.

CEDR Chambers’ Nick Pearson's 'style is calm and he quickly builds up trust'. Pearson has acted as mediator, both in the UK and abroad, in over 300 commercial mediations, including multi-party claims; his 2017 disputes involved professional negligence, wills, trusts and probate, employment and partnership claims as well as breach of contract, shareholder disputes, insolvency, and banking and financial services. Pearson mediated a claim for misfeasance by a liquidator against the administrator of an insolvent company, who allegedly negligently carried out a sale of the company’s assets and failed to protect the company’s assets.

Charles Powell at Freeths LLP 'handles mediations exceptionally well; he establishes a good relationship with parties and assists in achieving results; he also has a good grasp of the facts and the law and explores the strengths and weaknesses of cases in a sensible manner'. Powell has over 25 years’ experience as a mediator, has now conducted over 450 mediations, and is a commercial litigation and professional indemnity specialist. Charles is also at In Place of Strife.

In Place of Strife's Alistair Pye is 'extremely well prepared, direct and down to earth, yet also highly professional'. Others praise Pye for being 'entirely focused on making progress with intractable matters'. He undertook 74 mediations in 2017 and is a construction, engineering and insurance specialist, although his recent mediation experience also includes land disputes, inheritance cases, trust, landlord and tenant disputes, commercial contract cases, employment law, company law, and agricultural disputes.

Originally a specialist in construction and engineering, In Place of Strife's  David Richbell has mediated commercial cases since 1992 and is best known for mediating construction and engineering disputes; his mediations also frequently have an international element, with at least one party being non-UK based.

Core Solutions Group Limited’s John Sturrock QC is 'considered to be the leading Scottish mediator; he has tremendous presence and personality but his technical skills as a mediator are also excellent'. Sturrock is particularly noted for disputes involving commercial contracts, construction, IP, property and professional negligence. Other areas of strength include banking, sport, planning, environment, agriculture and health. His practice also extends to England and to both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

In 2017, SWM Mediation's Stephen Walker was appointed as lead mediator in 51 mediations. His 'style is robust and direct and he is always on top of the materials; he is also effective as he will often force the parties to consider points they do not wish to grapple with'. Walker is a full-time mediator who has developed specialisms in mediating professional negligence disputes, shareholders disputes, insolvency, art law, contentious probate, and construction and property disputes.

CEDR Chambers’ Tony Allen is 'particularly valued for his measured and careful approach when dealing with sensitive issues; he creates an atmosphere where he can be trusted to assist the parties without the fear of pressure to come to a compromise just to achieve settlement'. Allen now  almost exclusively specialises in clinical negligence and personal injury mediation; in 2018 he mediated a right to life case concerning a child.

Gowling WLG's Andrew Manning Cox is regularly instructed to mediate disputes both in the UK and internationally; his recent experience includes disputes ranging in value from £100,000 to £24m that involved joint ventures and partnership disputes, property, construction and engineering matters, franchises, sale of goods and product liability as well as professional negligence, fraud, employment and shareholder disputes.

Blackstone Chambers’ Charles Flint QC mostly mediates on financial services and banking disputes, including a large number of interest rate swap cases; he also mediates interesting environmental claims, sports disputes and fine art disputes, and has mediated internationally in Thailand, Hong Kong and Africa. Flint also mediates at In Place of Strife, The Mediation Chambers .

Stephenson Harwood’s commercial litigation head John Fordham is regularly instructed in high-value and complex mediations; Fordham has particular strength in financial services and shareholder disputes and has a strong international practice. He recently mediated a high-value, unfair prejudice petition brought by a minority shareholder.

Andrew Fraley at Fraley Bourne Ltd works full time mediating with solicitors, barristers, professional bodies and companies. He has mediated over 2000 cases involving professional indemnity claims, personal injury, maritime issues, construction, agriculture and employment law as well as partnership and shareholder disputes, probate, trusts, landlord and tenant, and insurance cases.

Formerly an equity partner at McCormicks (where he remains a consultant), CEDR Chambers' Neil Goodrum 'remains unflappably calm even in the face of seemingly intractable positions taken by parties; he continues to question and probe and eventually excellent results are achieved'. Goodrum recently mediated a dispute involving a personal injury claim for psychiatric injury sustained during employment; and assisted with an agency fee dispute between a professional sportsman and his former agent.

TLT's Kerry Gwyther leads the firm's group of eight solicitor-mediators; he 'gets to the crux of the matter and works relentlessly to get the parties to reach a satisfactory conclusion'. His specialist areas are breach of warranties, indemnities and misrepresentation; directors, shareholder and partnerships; franchising; medical and professional negligence; and high-value inheritance claims.

In Place of Strife's Andrew Hildebrand  'works hard to understand the emotional aspects of cases and clearly establishes parties' trust; he is also very well prepared, thorough and quietly persuasive without resorting to browbeating'. Hildebrand recently handled over 30 commercial mediations in a 12-month period; he mediates a wide range of commercial and contractual cases but specialises in entertainment, sport and IP; and partnership, family business and private client.

Gerard Khoshnaw heads up the dispute resolution team at Gateley Plc  in Leeds. Dual qualified as a mediator in the UK and in Chicago, Khoshnaw has, since 1999, handled mediations in several industry sectors; recently he conducted several high-profile mediations in the South East in the NHS and healthcare sector, which involved high-value contracts.

'An extremely competent mediator with a unique style', In Place of Strife'sMark Linnell 'has a very engaging manner which quickly wins trust and confidence; he is able to bridge the gap between difficult parties during intense mediations when things seem lost'. A commercial mediator since 2005, Linnell's practice includes disputes involving commercial agreements, contested probates, financial services, insurance, media and construction, as well as insolvency, professional negligence and property.

Mark Manley, who operates his mediation practice through Mediata, is 'frank, up-front, and straightforward; he is a very useful mediator in circumstances where parties are suffering delusions as to the strength of their case and he brings parties quickly back to reality, where they can then focus on resolution'. Manley has handled over 450 commercial mediations and has particular expertise in mediating media, sports and entertainment cases, involving highly sensitive issues of reputation, commercial interests and confidentiality. He also has experience of foreign jurisdictions, including mediations in Gibraltar involving overseas trusts and commercial disputes.

Jane Player at In Place of Strife 'has a fantastic manner and comes across as a great listener, while at the same time discreetly moving parties to the areas they need to focus on'. Player is now a full-time mediator, having left King & Spalding LLP in 2017, undertaking over 30 appointments in her first nine months. She acted as mediator in relation to a shareholder dispute arising out of a property project that involved allegations of an undervalue of assets; and mediated in relation to an international pharmaceutical collaboration and distribution agreement.

Working full time as a mediator since 1997, In Place of Strife’s Liz Rivers is 'a very experienced and skilful mediator; she has training not just as a mediator, but also as a lawyer and a psychotherapist, and she brings to bear an unusually wide-ranging skill-set in her mediations. She is particularly adept at dealing with highly emotional cases and difficult or vulnerable individuals'.  Rivers specialises exclusively in workplace and employment disputes.

Jams International's 'go-to person for insurance cases', Peter Rogan 'has in-depth knowledge of the insurance industry and is extremely helpful in getting deals done'. Rogan's experience includes a high-value professional indemnity dispute between a major Lloyds broker and a US company; and a $100m dispute in the aviation market concerning a missing aircraft.

Adrian Llewelyn-Evans (Independent) is Burges Salmon LLP's former head of commercial litigation. Llewelyn-Evans is a full-time independent mediator, who undertakes a broad range of commercial mediations and has extensive experience of settlement negotiations. His appointments average at least two per month.

Birmingham-based Andrew Eastgate (Independent) is regularly appointed to mediate commercial disputes throughout the country; his experience includes disputes arising from commercial contracts, agency, business sales and financing, as well as shareholder and partnership disputes.

In 2017, Stephen Barker joined 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square's panel of elite mediators and  accepted the offer of a tenancy. Barker 'excels at putting the parties at ease and gaining their trust in both him and the process, which enables him to have early honest and difficult conversations, breaking down the barriers to a settlement'. He recently experienced a notable increase in appointments to mediate shareholder disputes, with an emphasis on high-value, family-owned and managed businesses. Barker has also mediated more inheritance disputes, yet remains busy with professional negligence, construction and property matters.

Formerly at 5RB, CEDR Chambers' Stephen Bate's 'grasp of detail and his ability to mediate pleasantly and persuasively between parties who could not be further apart are the main contributory factors to the success of his mediations'. Bate recently mediated matters involving sectors such as media and entertainment, healthcare, sport and banking as well as partnership and shareholder disputes.

Linklaters LLP's Katie Bradford is best known for her mediation work in high-value property-related cases; Bradford's other areas include cases involving employment law, pensions, trading, trusts and probate.

In Place of Strife's Amanda Bucklow is experienced in mediating commercial disputes and employment-related matters, including discrimination and dismissal-related cases; Bucklow also has expertise in transport, IT and financial services claims.

A full-time mediator since 2015, In Place of Strife's Rebecca Clark'very quickly gets to grips with the headline and underlying issues, and takes time to speak with the parties and understand their commercial positions and hurdles to proposed settlements'. Clark is particularly sought after for her expertise in financial services and small and medium-sized enterprises.

In Place of Strife's Michael Cover has been a full-time mediator since 2008 and has been involved in around 225 mediations. Cover's practice includes both commercial and family business disputes, and he is particularly well known for IP, technology and insurance mediations.

At In Place of Strife, Anthony Glaister is 'enthusiastic and works hard to achieve a settlement; he has a very practical view of sensible outcomes and has the ability to talk knowledgably to parties. He also charges very reasonably'. Glaister is frequently instructed on property and partnership disputes, including cases involving family businesses, housebuilders, contractors and developers, as well as business restructuring, inheritance and trusts.

Fenwick Elliott LLP's Nicholas Gould is a dual-qualified solicitor and chartered surveyor, and a specialist mediator in the construction sector;  he has acted as lead mediator in multi-party, high value mediations since 1997.

In Place of Strife's Jane Gunn is 'trusted by clients and is very approachable'. Gunn specialises in complex and highly emotive cases in  areas such as partnership, joint ventures, trusts and employment cases as well as medical negligence, and property and construction.

CEDR Chambers' Tim Hardy is CMS' former commercial litigaition head. Hardy is 'very effective; he shows skill, intelligence, common sense and patience in dealing with very tricky and challenging situations'. His mediation experience predominantly arises out of corporate transactions, finance and commercial contracts. Hardy also mediates at In Place of Strife, The Mediation Chambers .

Morton Fraser's Edinburgh-based David Hossack is 'held in very high regard as a mediator; he is approachable, highly skilled and has an open and enquiring style'. One of only four lawyers accredited as specialists in commercial mediation by the Law Society of Scotland, Hossack is focused on employment and commercial law matters.

Serle Court's Elizabeth Jones QC has been mediating since 1999; she has mediated cases with between two-ten parties, alone and as co-mediator; she mediates across a wide number of sectors, with underlying values ranging from £2,000 to over £50m.

Freeths LLP' Mark Keeley in Nottingham is 'frequently recommended as a mediator because he is practical, approachable and very client friendly; he also knows when to push and when to back off, and he is particularly good with vulnerable clients'. Keely undertook 36 mediations in 2017 and specialises in contentious trust and probate disputes as well as professional negligence claims.

An accredited mediator since 1998, Mark Mattison (Independent) has worked on over 500 mediations. His areas of expertise are construction and engineering, banking, shareholder and partnership disputes, and commercial and contract disputes. Other areas include professional negligence claims, landlord and tenant and property disputes.

At Blake Morgan LLP, David Miles' mediation practice encompasses construction, professional negligence, commercial law and partnership; he also mediates IT, IP, and procurement-related matters.

At CEDR Chambers, Eve Pienaar's 'approach is 'professional, practical and fair; she communicates to parties very clearly and clients feel comfortable speaking to her and voicing their views in cases'. With specialist experience in property and construction disputes, Pienaar mediates cases involving public sector utilities, probate and partnership disputes.

Norwich-based Martin Plowman founded Mediation 1st in 2003; he conducts over 100 mediations a year, has mediated cases from £50 to over £20m, and has been appointed to mediate throughout the UK and Europe. Plowman is a specialist in commercial and contractual claims as well as disputes involving inheritance and property.

4-5 Gray’s Inn Square's Richard Price OBE QC has recent experience of mediating disputes in commercial matters, professional negligence, employment law, construction, property and land, IP and defamation.

Rebecca Attree (Independent) 'goes about her mediation using her calm authority, good manners, skilful communication and excellent grasp of the issues to focus the minds of the parties to reach a settlement'. Attree has particular expertise in mediating commercial disputes that are complex, multi-party, cross-cultural and involve relationship issues; her mediations often relate to contracts for directors’ and shareholders’ duties, property, family business, trusts, IP and professional fees. Attree recently mediated a complex and sensitive fee dispute between a care home and a deceased person's daughter.

Atkin Chambers' Michael Shane has acted as mediator in over 1,500 disputes; his mediations involve a wide variety of subject matter, including all areas of commercial disputes, particularly insurance, finance, construction and engineering, energy and IP.

Lamb Chambers' Stephen Shaw is well known for his mediation experience involving landlord and tenant, property and mortgage-related claims. Shaw also mediates professional negligence matters in relation to solicitors, surveyors, architects and engineers.

CEDR Chambers' Caroline Sheridan 'successfully resolves problems and is down to earth yet professional and knowledgeable; she also quickly identifies problems and remembers all the facts clients bombard her with and suggests excellent ways to reach resolution'. Sheridan has mediated hundreds of workplace-related cases; recently she mediated a dispute that arose from an appraisal grade given by a manager.

A former High Court judge, Sir Robert Akenhead at Atkin Chambers is 'an excellent mediator who is best appointed for large, complicated construction disputes; he excels at managing strong personalities and is very tenacious in trying to achieve a settlement'. Akenhead's experience includes mediating a dispute concerning defects to a UK hotel.

Since joining 5 Stone Buildings in 2012, Miranda Allardice  has conducted over 75 mediations; these include trust, probate and Inheritance Act disputes.

Kings Chambers' Lesley Anderson QC is highly rated for mediating professional negligence claims. Anderson also practices from Hardwicke and, in addition to mediation, she offers Early Neutral Evaluation, a process in which the parties present their cases to a neutral third party, who renders a non-binding reasoned evaluation on the merit of the case.

Formerly of 5RB and now a 4-5 Gray’s Inn Square, Iain Christie 'handles situations with courtesy and authority and is a safe pair of hands for commercial mediations'. He is particularly noted for civil and commercial mediation.

Specialising in technology, engineering and construction disputes, Keating Chambers' Robert Gaitskell QC' experience includes mediating  a Singaporean hi-tech dispute.

1 Chancery Lane’s Andrew Goodman is the Convenor of the Standing Conference of Mediation Advocates; his areas of expertise cover professional indemnity, disciplinary and regulatory claims as well as commercial matters, property and administrative law.

At Jams International , Charles Gordon's mediation practice focuses on reinsurance, restructuring and insolvency, financial services, and joint venture, shareholder and partnership disputes. Gordon also mediates at In Place of Strife, The Mediation Chambers.

At Serle Court, Jennifer Haywood is 'exceptionally good with difficult clients and works extremely hard to steer parties towards settlement'. Haywood has particular experience in partnership and trust disputes.

Jonathan Lux (Independent), the former joint head of Ince & Co's arbitration and mediation group, is well known for maritime and commercial disputes as well as international mediations, partly thanks to Lux's fluency in French and German.

XXIV Old Buildings’ Michael King is 'a highly effective mediator who has a wealth of experience and legal knowledge to draw upon; he is unafraid and authoritative enough to challenge views and keeps momentum going'. King has particular expertise in mediating trust-related disputes, often involving estates and probate, and partnership issues.

Atkin Chambers’ Her Honour Frances Kirkham CBE 'shows a clear understanding of the issues in dispute, handles difficult attendees with professionalism, and works exceedingly hard to achieve a result'. Kirkham is recommended for construction and engineering law-related mediations.

Exchange Chambers' Leed-based Paul Kirtley is 'an excellent mediator'. Kirtley mediates disputes involving commercial law, race and sex discrimination employment claims, public sector matters, and solicitors and valuers' negligence claims. Other areas of strength are medical negligence and personal injury claims, probate, trusts, and property and boundary disputes.

20 Essex Street's David Owen QC frequently mediates cases with international elements, including: banking and finance, insurance and reinsurance, shipping, international trade, and general commercial matters.

Since 1994, Paul Houghton (Independent) has mediated over 600 disputes;  his cases range from two-party claims with no monetary value through to high-value, multi-party cases.

Keating Chambers' Elizabeth Repper mediated 24 appointments in 2017.  Best known for mediating property and construction disputes, Repper also assists with insolvency, banking and solicitors’ negligence cases.

Quality Solicitors Howlett Clarke's consultant solicitor and former managing partner Richard Schaverien mediates disputes concerning professional negligence, commercial litigation, landlord and tenant, property and building matters, partnership, and personal injury.

In Place of Strife's Mark Shaw QC is also a member of Blackstone Chambers. Shaw acts in mediations that compliment his significant public law background. Other mediations include partnership, property and land development, professional negligence and commercial disputes.

With particular expertise in multi-party disputes, the mediation specialisms of Tim Wallis (independent) include personal injury, clinical negligence and insurance claims.

Maitland Chambers’ Beverley Vara 'conducts successful mediations and impresses clients'. Vara mediates a range of commercial and private client disputes, including property, insolvency, professional negligence and breach of contract claims.

Radcliffe Chambers' Simon Williams is an experienced mediator of property and commercial disputes; he is 'very bright and personable, has the right temperant for being a mediator, and has considerable knowledge of property and landlord and tenant law'.

Jonathan Winegarten at Radcliffe Chambers 'has a great manner with clients, being firm but not overbearing when exploring their thinking about the case'. A former Chief Chancery Master, Winegarten is experienced in dealing with all types of Chancery disputes but 'he is particularly great for probate and estate disputes'.


Professional discipline

Index of tables

  1. Professional discipline
  2. Hall of Fame
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Hall of Fame

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which Professional discipline clients in London using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact david.burgess@legal500.com.

CLICK HERE TO VISIT THE WHO REPRESENTS WHO SITE

Bevan Brittan LLP recently acted for several professional regulatory bodies across a range of sectors, including the Bar Standards Board and the Solicitors Regulation Authority, as well as the Architects Registration Board (ARB), Insolvency Practitioners Association and The Financial Reporting Council. Highlights include acting for the ARB in the prosecution of disciplinary proceedings involving registered architects, including a sole practitioner architect who did not hold current professional indemnity insurance in respect of his practice and who, during the course of enquires, gave an untrue account of his insurance position. The group is led by Birmingham-based Adam Kendall and Virginia Cooper in London; Cooper regularly advises clients on powers, jurisdiction and minimising the prospects of challenge, as well as advising them during judicial review challenges. Other notable advisers are senior associates Johanna Davies in Bristol and London's Amy Tschobotko and associate Genevieve Bushell. Davies handles complex SRA investigations and prosecutions, including Financial Stability cases involving major law firm collapses and high-profile cases concerning the involvement of solicitors in high-yield investment fraud schemes. Former consultant Rosemary Rollason left to found her own practice.

Blake Morgan LLP is best known for acting for regulators, particularly in the fields of healthcare, legal, education, accountancy, engineering, architecture and surveying. Eastleigh-based Bradley Albuery heads the regulatory practice group and has over 15 years' experience in professional disciplinary work; Albuery led advice to a healthcare regulator investigating a case in which a registrant was charged and acquitted of gross negligence manslaughter; this was believed to be the first time in this regulator's history that it had to consider the fitness to practise of a registrant whose alleged omissions were said to have contributed to the death of a patient. The practice also acted for Social Care Wales in investigating and presenting a case against a social worker, which included allegations of historical sexual abuse and failing to maintain appropriate professional boundaries with clients. Nick Leale is the London professional regulatory head; Leale 'delivers extensive knowledge in a thoughtful, measured manner that non-legal people can understand - he also fully considers the human factors played out within regulatory frameworks and reflects those considerations when advising those undertaking investigations'. The senior associates to note are Guy Micklewright, whose 'knowledge of case law is second to none and who provides robust representation at disciplinary hearings', along with Antonia Dowgray, Christopher Pataky, James Danks, Cassandra Scarbrough and Antonia Dowgray.

BLM 'retains a core of highly skilled and experienced professional disciplinary lawyers whose abilities are second to none; they are able to call upon a breadth of experience across a range of disciplinary areas, including before the major professional disciplinary bodies such as the GMC and GDC, as well as experience in the criminal courts on behalf of healthcare professionals whose alleged misconduct also amounts to criminal offences'. The practice acts for healthcare clients throughout the UK and Ireland; it recently represented a former medical director at UC24 in a General Medical Council investigation and Medical Practitioners Tribunal hearing into allegations that he failed to action over 150 test results, reports and letters in his practice as a GP and failed adequately to manage his responsibilities as medical director. The key London partners are Rosie Shapiro, whose practice encapsulates clinical negligence claims, professional discipline and regulatory and judicial review and is 'extremely bright and analytical, sees straight to the point, has excellent client handling skills, and gives clear advice'; and recently promoted partner Adam Weston, who 'has a calm, reassuring manner and can defuse what are often stressful situations for his clients'. In Manchester, head of the firm’s professional discipline and regulatory practice group Clare Chapman 'has considerable experience in challenging cases, with a personable style that belies her immense talents'; Katie Costello is 'known for her insight and no-nonsense approach and provides strength and depth to the team, having successfully practised in this field for many years'; and Lisa Jones is 'switched on and gets to grips with a case with ease'. Other recommended advisers include Cardiff-based Jane Lang, who heads the healthcare advice and inquest practice group; while former head of the health and care sector Juliette Mellman-Jones became Medico legal director of the MPI Group.

'Able to handle the most complex and substantial cases', Capsticks LLP is 'a go-to firm for major regulators'. The regulatory division, led by John Witt and Mark Whiting, who is 'a leader in this area', and supported by Daniel Purcell and James Penry-Davey, is highly rated for its professional discipline expertise in the healthcare and legal services markets. Penry-Davey 'has huge experience in the field, excellent judgment and is brilliant with demanding clients'. In a matter involving 37 patients and a number of complex issues, the team recently acted for the General Dental Council in a case against two dentists, which concerned numerous allegations of clinical failings as well as inappropriate claiming of dental activity units in respect of treatment provided to patients. Also highly rated is Nimi Bruce, who 'understands how to get complex cases into a manageable form'; and senior solicitor Anna Holdsworth 'has a great manner with clients and is very calm under pressure'. The associates to note are Kate Steele and Mark Rogers; and with a view to growing the firm's work involving the regulation and professional discipline of police officers, it hired Hugh Giles from the Metropolitan Police Service, where he was director of legal services.

Fieldfisher is 'really excellent in this field; its lawyers' knowledge is outstanding and its advice is practical and delivered on time'. The practice acts for over 40 different regulators across health, sport, surveying, policing, finance and law, as well as higher education institutions that offer courses of study in regulated professions. It recently acted for the Professional Standards Authority for Health and Social Care in a range of statutory appeals it has conducted against decisions of healthcare regulators that it considers to be insufficient for the protection of the public. Manchester-based Sarah Ellson has specialised in professional discipline for over 18 years and 'has unrivalled experience and wisdom'; and London's 'proactive and pragmatic' senior partner Matthew Lohn, whose 'sector knowledge and network are outstanding and who provides real-time legal and strategic advice', chairs the firm's supervisory board'. Alix Rejman is a highly regarded director; senior associate David Northfield 'has excellent business knowledge and experience of the sector' and associate Louise Sivey is 'attentive and provides solid advice and guidance'.

Hempsons' 'excellent team is meticulous in its work and always does its best for clients'. The practice was recently active in all the key healthcare regulatory and disciplinary tribunals, representing the full range of public bodies, defence organisations and their members and private individuals; its representative work includes complex investigations involving the Police, Coroner, NHS Protect,